Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Harlem hummingbird


It happened. A hummingbird came to the terrace. It buzzed once, disappeared up a dark building shaft, an impossible green speck, then reappeared a few minutes later, from the other side of the terrace. It visited the jewelweed, flew off, and came back a third time. Long enough to allow Vince to take some really good pictures with an appropriate lens. I was frozen in place with my 50mm, which I had been using to shoot pictures of garlic and fennel, for a food story. But I snapped away, anyway.

The cat was sitting nearby and at one point I saw his eyes light up:


I took his picture. I thought he must be looking at a bee. But minutes later the hummingbird hovered into my field of vision.

Don't worry -  he doesn't eat birds. But he likes to watch.

I was transfixed by the sweet creature. Very, very happy.


It stayed longest at the jewelweed, which is in full bloom. I planted a few seedlings that I had brought from Inwood in the spring, in case of poison ivy contact (it's reputed to prevent the rash), and I also thought it might do well in this difficult, shady corner (it has). Little did I suspect that hummers are drawn to it. It touched on the cardinal vine several times, and on the scarlet runner beans, too. All winter  - the long winter of my discontent -  I dreamed of a summer terrace, to stay sane (it was touch and go) and ordered seeds of plants I thought might attract these tiny birds.

I hope it makes it all the way home. Wherever that is.

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                  September Botanical Walk Schedule
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