Monday, September 30, 2013

Hummingbird Magic and Inspiration

"The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid-air stands still." --Robert Frost

We're going to miss our little friend, the one that visited us so many times this summer and whom we could watch from our porch room window--a small green hummingbird that sipped from our Cardinal Climber vine that trains up the trellis below. We watched it hover and flit many a time and never got tired of watching it, especially when savoring the moment over a cup of tea. The fascinating creature only caused frustration when I tried to take its picture. After many attempts, this is the best snapshot we got.

But just like the season of summer is behind us and September now fades into memory, the hummingbird takes flight to warmer climates as fall's cooler temperatures beckon. But, because I want to carry the picture of the hummingbird with me for a little bit longer, I share some of its story here--mainly so I don't forget its magic.

Some facts about hummingbirds (from Yes I Know That):

  • The hummingbird is one of the smallest and most beautiful birds in the world, weighing only about 5 grams.
  • Hummingbirds can fly backwards, up and down, and sideways.
  • Some of their senses are so much stronger than humans, they can see farther and hear better than we can.
  • Their average life span is about 5 years but most die in their first year of life.
  • They can beat their wings from 10-100 times per SECOND according to their size, increasing to 200 beats per second when diving.
  • Their flying speed may reach 49 MPH.
  • Some smaller species can make their nests on leaves of trees.

Awsome little guys, huh?

Another site with interesting info' on our friends includes "Hummingbirds: The Birds that Kiss the Flowers" (squidoo), an article that shares legends,  a list of the best plants that will attract them, rescue stories, and hummingbird organizations. You also might have bought a Papyrus greeting card and noted their message printed on the back of their cards: "Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation." --Papyrus


Might we learn something from the hummingbird that we can apply to our writing--and to our everyday lives? Things like beauty, wonder, savoring moments, laughter? Maybe something about heart, courage, vision, and focused efforts? It's worth a thought, anyway.

Such musings will carry over with me until we meet again. Happy travels, little friend. Hope to see you next year!


  1. I love watching hummingbirds! My daughter picked a book about hummingbirds last time we were at the library, so I actually knew some of those fun facts :) They are beautiful & amazing creatures!

  2. Hummingbirds truly are a wonder of beauty and perfect machine.

  3. What an amazing picture you captured. Thank you for the beautiful thoughts about these tiny birds. My own thoughts had been more mundane and prosaic, rather than poetic. Far less inspiring. We had several that kept finding their way into our garage this summer, but then lacked the intelligence to turn around and fly out, same way as they had entered. Instead, they wore themselves out, beating their beaks and wings against a window. Taking pity on them, I finally opened the window and left it open all summer for them.

  4. Jess, I was never as fascinated with the hummingbird as I've been this year. I love them. Glad to hear your daughter is learning about them, too :-)

    Barbara--perfect machines, I like that.

    Cathy, sad to hear of your birds getting trapped like that, but hopefully the open window was the solution. Funny, after I posted this and thinking the season was over, our friend returned this morning :-) I guess there were just enough blossoms left for him to sip from. Now I have to learn how long their season here really is...

  5. This was a lovely post. I love hummingbirds, too. My husband and I were visited by a few this summer in our back garden. We used to love to sit on the patio and birdwatch. I like the Papyrus cards, too. I've seen part of the Papyrus quote on the backs of them, but not all of the quote you shared above. It's s great philosophy for living.

  6. Elizabeth--I think the Papyrus quote is pretty special, too. I especially enjoy the last part: "laughter is life's sweetest creation." Thanks for stopping by :-)

  7. That pictures is amazing! I love hummingbirds and they love visiting my feeders. Thanks for posting some lovely facts about them.

  8. Thanks back to you, Catherine--and the picture was taken from inside looking out. The trellis reaches the bottom of the window so as we look out we can see the vine. It's like being right there but a glass separates us. It's been so much fun to watch :-)

  9. I love hummingbirds. We get them occasionally, and I believe I may have a hummingbird's nest, blown into the yard one windy day. Lately, I feel a lot like a hummingbird - beating frantically just to stay in place!

  10. Peggy--hope your frantic pace is slowing down a bit so you can enjoy the view. Even a hummingbird rests on a limb occasionally!

  11. Hummingbirds are the only Jewels I need!

  12. I have been infatuated by these little gems for as long as I can remember. I follow their migration counting down the days until they arrive. They are mythical to me because there is no little bird quite like them. They are a wonder, they make me happy, and I am their slave until they say it's time to leave!