Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Full of smiles

Tonight I have a long shoot with editing which will go past midnight. Tomorrow is another shoot that will take all day, so I went to the park this morning to fill up on happiness.

It's getting late for hummingbirds. Before this year I had never seen a hummer later than Sept. 24th, so my expectations were not high. But seeing was going to make me very happy.

The first stop was at the jewelweeds at the Oven. I waited 40 minutes. No hummers. No birds, period. So I started roaming and met up with Blackie. I'll start carrying peanuts soon, but for now he gets his fill with acorns. He's a gutsy little character, not shy about approaching humans.

There were hundreds of robins. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a robin chase away a brown thrasher. Brown thrashers are one of my favorites. In the spring they sing. Operatic. In the autumn they're only looking for food. I decided to wait and watch and got rewarded when the thrasher returned to bathe in the Gill. There was a second thrasher around the path in the leaves. Very good bugs under leaves. Thrashers are elusive. Get too close and they fly off. I saw a third thrasher in Strawberry Field near the jewelweed patch there. No hummers at that patch.

It was cool and very windy in the Rambles, a slow warbler day. No warblers, seemingly no hummers, so I decided to head back here and go by way of the jewelweeds one more time. Hot dog! A hummer, a cooperative one. She perched on a twig and sipped from the nearby blossom. I knew it wouldn't get any better than that. The wind was strong, blossoms dancing all over the place. Acorns raining down. Branches also falling down. On the way out of the park I passed another huge jewelweed patch. It's too big to ever spot a hummer in that space, but today there was another hummer fairly close to the path, like a parting gift, hard to shoot because of the wind blowing everything, but good enough for a big smile.

I'll get back to the park on Thursday, but don't expect to see anymore hummers. The blossoms are dying off. No nectar, no hummers. But I have pictures and and my heart is filled with happiness.

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