December 17th, 2012


Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

…four hummingbirds!

…three moorhens!
…two mourning doves!
…and a replacement for a Bradford pear tree!

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only kind we get in my neck of the woods (at least regularly—every now and then a weird vagrant will blow in) and they’re only here through early fall. They’ve long since left town at this point, completely defeating the bit where I planted two kinds of late-blooming salvia for them, which have never yet flowered while there are still hummingbirds in residence. I leave them up A) because there might be late migrants I miss who are really happy for the hit of nectar and B) because I don’t actually know if I can kill that one salvia and if I try and fail the plant will laugh at me and take my lunch money. (It’s only the size of a haystack. In the vegetable bed. That’s hardly inconvenient at all, really…)

Ahem. Right. Hummingbirds.

The ruby-throated hummingbird has a stable population. Single Female Hummingbird, who shows up in my yard (same individual or a succession? No idea) every year raised two babies this last year, much to my delight. The sight of a hummingbird with down still sticking to its tiny noggin was one of the greatest gardening moments of my life. I was so damn proud that my garden had enough going on to raise a hummingbird family. And there were two of them!

I do miss the dramatic hummingbirds from my time in Arizona, but really, any hummingbird is just plain cool.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.