Tuesday, September 2, 2008

(Green) Hummers

No no, not the automobiles. Even if they might come in that paint color, there is nothing "green" about a Hummer. I am referring to those other hummers - the feathered hummingbirds native to this area. Which I totally suck at identifying, by the way. I am pretty sure the shots I got yesterday are of a female Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) but if you are an expert and look at the photos and know differently, I hope you'll drop a note and let me know.

Despite how awful I am with identification, I am the littlest bit obsessed with hummers. It isn't enough for me to watch them, I seem to have a deep need to photograph them.The real sticking point there is that the hummers that frequent my beds seem to be private birds. They don't seem to want me close enough to make getting their photos easy. And I am too stubborn to get any special equipment, I want to be able to snap them with my little vanilla digital camera on it's Taking a Photo for Dummies setting.Sidebar: Gardeners in Texas are often, well, STUBBORN, you know? It might not be an absolute requirement to be obstinate if you intend to grow things in Central Texas, but it sure doesn't hurt. While everybody everywhere has some complaint about how where they are adversely affects trying to grow something they dearly wish to grow, here in Texas, between the too hot and the too wet and the too cold and the too dry, our complaints are totally legit. So yup, I am a native to these parts and I am stubborn as they come.

This at least partially manifests by my persisting in taking these photos. I realize none of them are coffee table book worthy. But they are indicative of what it is like to watch a hummer with human eyes in real time just in case that isn't something you get to regularly do at your place..Anyway, I have been setting aside time for the past few days to observe and as part of that, trying to capture with my camera, my regular hummingbird visitors. We are due to have a new roof installed in the near future (at least that's what the roofers keep telling us) and I know that noise and disturbance will keep either the hummingbirds away, or even if it doesn't deter them from the far beds, having visitors on the roof will be enough to keep me inside and out of the mix.
Enlarging my long shots to find the hummingbird in there is a bit like playing a digital version of "Where's Waldo?". Hopefully though, by keeping my distance, I am not overly bothering the hummingbirds. I really appreciate the chances to watch them in action. I've methodically selected and grown all sorts of plants out in the beds precisely with the idea of attracting, feeding, and pleasing them. I think that's only fair.

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About Me

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Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.