True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Friday, August 8, 2014


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While I dilly-dallied in my garden yesterday, mesmerized by a clean arc of sparkling water flowing from the hose nozzle, I was startled by a very small hummingbird who darted around my head and then hovered above the stream of water.

I held completely still, hoping that it would stay for a moment.  
It was exquisite, and especially tiny, even for a hummingbird. When I spied three shimmering red feathers on its chin, I knew it was a young male Ruby Throated.

I guessed he had come to take a sip, so I held the stream steady while he whizzed around it.
He examined the water from all angles, but he didn't touch it with his  beak. 
Instead, he extended his tiny talons and carefully lowered himself onto this beautiful shiny perch.
For a moment, even I believed it might work.

He raised himself above the flow and tried from another angle.   
His toes were so small there was hardly a splash.

He made a few more attempts to stand on water,

and then he retreated to a more substantial perch in the forsythia bush. 

To ponder physics, no doubt.