Hummingbirds are so magical. I would never take them for granted, though growing up in L.A., I was used to seeing them hover over me, as I lay on the grass looking up at the fucshia bush and dreaming my young girl dreams.
It was only after I had moved to NJ that I missed seeing hummingbirds. Where were they? If I went to Cape May I could see them at the botanical garden. They all come in to Cape May in August, travelling a great distance, from Africa to Florida. NJ is a favorite stopping off place for birds. If only they would stay.
But I didn't see any hummingbirds in my own garden. I had trumpet vine. I planted lots of pretty red and pink things, and the butterflies came. But not the hummingbirds.
The goldfinch is the NJ state bird. And when my sunflowers are sticking straight up to the sky, the goldfinches come. What a treat.
My granddaughter, who helped plant the sunflowers from seed, cried to see all the goldfinches eating them, but I said, much as I love sunflowers, I love goldfinches more. Let them enjoy the repast. But last summer, a mean old squirrel beheaded all my sunflowers, before the goldfinches could get to them. That wasn't funny! I don't cut squirrels the same kind of slack!
This year the sunflowers are doing just fine, growing wise and old, because nobody's eating them.
When it comes to hummingbirds, you must be patient and never give up. I changed the location of the feeder. Then I changed the feeder. I stopped using that phony goop they sell, and make my own food from scratch: 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup spring water, boiled for 5 minutes.
And now they come! A cute chubby little hummingbird, named "Harry" comes twice a day. He comes for breakfast and again for dinner. Sometimes there are others, but Harry is a tough bird and usually scares others away. He's quite a guzzler. What is it about hummingbirds that makes them so magical? I don't know, but I get such joy from watching him and I treasure him, because, unlike in California, he will be gone, maybe in October, and then I will have to wait till May to see him again. If I am lucky. Sometimes, rarely, he stays perfectly still, so I can admire his beauty.
He is emerald green. He shines in the sun, like the leaves. He will be gone and those brilliant green leaves will turn brown.
For now he is a feisty fellow. Guarding his turf. Even from a pesky wasp.
I won't forget Harry. In the Winter, I will see him as a dancing ghost in my window. And then...next year, if the fates allow, I will see him again!