Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Think the Hummingbird Wants to Play with Me

As I said in several previous posts, I have been trying to attract hummingbirds to my garden for years.  Ever since I saw my first while I still living within the Philadelphia city limits.  It was there that a hummingbird visited a Fushia planted in a hanging basket hanging near my front door.  In my present house, in which I have lived for over 18 years, I planted several Lonicera sempervirens 'Alabama Crimson' to attract hummingbirds.  I have seen one hummingbird in my garden for the last three years.  

I am not sure it is the same one each year but, I never see more than one at anytime.  In any event, I love to watch these creatures so much that I find myself exiting my sliding patio door several times an hour to see if I can catch it around the honeysuckle that is on the side of my house.  I usually find it there in the morning and evening when the sun is not hot.  As I slowly inch my way around the corner of the house it usually begins to fly darting a few feet from the vine, up, down, left and right.  If I get too close it may fly away.  Most times, it flies over my neighbors house and then west into a Silver Maple in my backyard.  Because of its size I am unable to tell on which branch it perches.  Other times it flies towards  the front of my house then to the neighbor's Trumpet Vine which is probably a Campsis x tagliabuana kudian "Indian Summer"
My photograph of the hummingbird at my neighbor's Trumpet Vine

or it may fly up and over my roof to a smaller honeysuckle I have in the rear of my house.  One of the times, today, it flew to my neighbor's Trumpet Vine.  I lost sight of it while it actually flew wholly into each flower.  Kind of like the shell game, only to find it on a branch of the climbing rose I also have trained on my trellis.  It was just perched there checking me out, from a safe distance.  Maybe, it was playing hide and seek with me.  If it was playing, it was definitely winning.  
Checking me out from a safe distance
This was photographed using a 200mm zoom lens which would make it 4x magnification before cropping
I put down my camera, did some weeding in my flower beds and went inside to wash my hands.  I looked outside the sliding patio doors at the zinnias planted about 10 ft away.  I was looking for gold finches eating the zinnia seeds, when the hummingbird appeared at the door.  It was hovering about 1 ft higher than my head and seemingly looking right into my eye, asking, "Are you coming out to play?"  It didn't hover for long and buzzed off towards the honeysuckle on the side of the house.  I turned to my wife and told her my impression.  She gave me one of those looks as if to say, "You are loosing it!"  She turned and flew off over my neighbor's roof turned west and perched in one of the Silver Maples in my backyard.  I was able to tell on which branch she perched.

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