I was in my 40s before I saw my first hummingbird in the feather.
That day sticks in my mind clearly. I was sitting on a porch at a Unitarian retreat center near Highlands, North Carolina. Yes, I used to hang out with Unitarians as I once hung out with the Democratic Party. I have given up on both. They tend to be one and the same.
Definition of Unitarians: People who have abandoned Christianity but can’t break the habit of going to church on Sunday. The first two times I married, it was a Unitarian minister who did the questionable deed. The third time was a Mexican judge.
Stick to Mexican judges. That’s my advice.
Nowadays, I am very familiar with hummingbirds. After that day in North Carolina, I installed hummingbird feeders in my yard in Houston, and enjoyed plenty of hummers during their annual migrations.
And now, here on the mountaintop, I have hummingbirds year-round, and I still love seeing them. Hummers have odd personalities. They are quite brave. They will fly right up to you, hover and stare boldly into your face.
And they loathe their own kind except, one imagines, when it’s hootchy-koochy time. If there’s no sex on the menu, the last thing a hummingbird wants to see is another hummingbird. It really pisses them off.
They are the Siamese fighting fish of flight.
What brings this to mind? I was just downstairs in a rocker on the terraza, enjoying the cool morning, when a hummingbird decided to sit a spell on an aloe vera branch just a few feet away. It never gets old, and it’s always fun.
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(Hummer art by Olechka.)