Month: September 2014

Bye, Bye Birdie….

Sad & Crying Smiley FaceIt has certainly been well documented by ornithologists as well as hummingbird enthusiasts alike that little is known about what triggers Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to head south toward the end of summer. Most agree that by the end of September to the middle of October the majority have left their northern territories and have headed south to Texas and Mexico.

As I drew the curtains on my patio doors this past evening I saw my little dominate Ruby-Throated male sitting on his favorite limb keeping watch over his domain. But this morning when I opened those same curtains the little fella, whom I had featured in my last post by the way, had apparently headed south sometime between dusk last night and 7:00 AM this morning.

Of course one could assume it all quite coincidental but I would be terribly amiss if I didn’t mention the fact that he left at the dawn of the fall equinox. Yep… oddly enough this evening at 9:29 PM the Sun will be crossing the celestial equator and my little hummer is so smart that he apparently noted that last night as he looked to the heavens and knew it was time! So take that all you smarty pants bird people!

Bye, bye little birdie… and may the wind be at your back and the sun upon your face and may the winds of destiny carry you to the safety of your southern sanctuary.

There’s Been A Changing of the Guard….

Almost before the ink could dry on my last post regarding my hummingbird visitors, the adolescent male whom I had posted about was gone and there was a new king on the mountain, so to speak. Seems an adult male has now staked his claim to the feeder and is willing to take on all comers. And when I say the adolescent male was gone, I mean I have not seen him since so the new adult male took over so he must have sent the young man packing for good. In fact, much to my dismay the resident female I posted about I have not seen in some time now either. With migration time almost upon us I could assume both hummers just decided to go ahead and head south for the winter but of course one cannot really know these things for sure. One thing for sure, the little female I referred to as my ‘resident female’ will be sorely missed.

The weather was to my liking yesterday so I went out on the patio and setup for another photo session in the afternoon. Took photos off and on for about four hours but the adult male who is currently king of the castle was the only hummer who showed up to be photographed. Here are a few of the photographs from yesterday….

Hummer 01(Click to Enlarge)

Hummer 02(Click to Enlarge)

Hummer 03(Click to Enlarge)

Hummer 04(Click to Enlarge)

Next week brings on the first week of fall so it will be only some three or four weeks before all my little friends will have headed south. Photos will probably be far and few between from now on but I will have my eyes open for transients traveling south who may opt to stop by for a ‘pick me up’ on their long journey. 🙂

Out with the old…. In with the new!

Old-Ironing-Board-Cover-Old-Grey-BoyPerhaps it’s just me but sometimes we humans can be quite an odd lot. Especially when it comes to some of the choices we make in our day to day lives.

Being “frugal” I would think is an admirable human trait but our individual application of such an act in our daily lives can at times border on the completely ridiculous to the outright hilarious.

Such an example has just occurred in my own life recently. Last Thursday, after some 43 years as best I can estimate, my ironing board cover as well as my patience for dealing with such a relic reached its final conclusion. I refused to deal with the aggravation of the old cover any longer and went out and purchased a new one.

Now the old one back in the early 1970’s when I figure I bought it probably cost me around $7 to $10 dollars, perhaps. My new one I just purchased was $19.19. But here is the puzzler in all of this. When it comes to items of considerable expense such as an automobile, for the least little excuse I use to go out and trade my perceived heap of junk which normally was only around three years old and purchase a new one and we are talking thousands of dollars here. Perhaps the car did have a nick or two on it or even a small scratch but had it reached its dismal end? Well of course not!

New-Ironing-Board-Cover-Tropical-Splender

I consider myself being endowed with a reasonable amount of common sense so why would one hang on to an ironing board cover that is literally falling apart and that would only cost $20 to replace… and yet go out and trade for new cars every few years when the new car smell had barely disappeared from a car which costs thousands of dollars, to say the least?

Obviously I cannot answer my own posed question so I am left within the grasps of a self inflicted conundrum. Referring back to my opening statement where I surmised we were all part of an odd lot was perhaps a bit presumptuous on my part. Perhaps I am the only human among us who would dare to keep an ironing board cover for 43 years and then complain about having to buy a new one!

The Adolescent Male…. Up close and personal!

If you are familiar in the least with hosting a hummingbird feeder then you know that there is pretty much always one hummingbird in the mix of visitors who thinks the feeder is solely theirs and spends the better part of their days running off the other hummingbirds who try to feed. That particular hummingbird is, of course, typically referred to as the dominate hummingbird. Others like myself may refer to such hummingbirds as “little assholes” since they wreak havoc on any plans one might have of taking any meaningful photographs.

Unfortunately for me given my photographic aspirations as of late, I have one of the most tenaciously dominant hummers I have ever run across. And what is most surprising about the little critter in that he is an adolescent male less than a year old, probably born this past spring. He not only keeps any potential visitors away from the feeder, he keeps them out of the entire yard. He literally watches the yard from high in the trees and when one encroaches he goes on the attack.

You will note the dark colored spots on the throat of the hummer below which indicates that he is an adolescent male. Males normally tend to be the more aggressive of the species although as I have mentioned in an earlier post, I have a resident female who holds her own against all the males and feeds when she so chooses, despite their strong objections. But back to the featured little pesky male. He will migrate this fall and go through the molt stage during our winter and then next year when he arrives back north in the spring/summer his throat feathers will all be present in all their ruby-colored glory. If in fact he would by chance return to my area and feeder I doubt I would even know it since he will look completely different.

Hummer 05(Click to Enlarge)

Hummer 06(Click to Enlarge)