February 15, 2006

Hummingbird Hijinks

(fyi, Tom is home for a few days, collecting some much needed comp-time... that's why he's here, in this story, instead of in some other city!)

To set the scene: Monday afternoon, I just got home from work, and we're relaxing on the patio in the afternoon sunshine. In late afternoon, the hummingbirds start feeding more aggresively, to store up for the evenings which still do get cool (in the 40s-low 50s). The patio faces west, so Tom had his chair near the patio wall, facing in towards the apartment; this meant he was pretty much underneath the hummingbird feeder. They don't mind us, so they were still zipping back and forth, even with us out there. I was under the shade, so I was facing him, reading the remnants of the Sunday paper. He had just lit his cigar and leaned back in his chair when a female hummingbird zoomed in towards the feeder.

Tom says, "Hello there, little hummingbird- you're not going to poop on me, are you?" (hummingbird poop is a discussion we've had in the past- what does it look like, and how much of it is there? after all, they're pretty small birds!) Just as he completed his sentence, it did poop on him!!! She let loose, and the poop landed right on his cheek- I watched it happen! He sat there, stunned, while I burst out laughing... It was just so perfectly timed! The perfect angle, wind conditions, everything! I couldn't stop laughing, but I did manage to get him a soapy washcloth and a towel... he didn't know what to say, except "what are the odds of that happening?" Maybe we should have bought a lottery ticket after that.

We did, however, find out that hummingbird poop is a clear liquid with a pretty watery consistency... :-)

Today, Tom had another (better) hummingbird experience- he was outside the front door, shaking dog hair out of the rug, and noticed a female hummingbird hovering around, eyeing him carefully. He stopped shaking the rug, so she calmed down, and flew to a nearby pine tree, where she landed on her nest!!! He showed it to me when I got home from work- it's amazing! It's light grayish green, and is built on one of the lowest branches, nestled between a pine cone and the tree branch (kind of a precarious perch, in my opinion- I hope the pine cone doesn't fall anytime soon!). It was pretty windy today, but she was settled in for the ride. Hopefully we'll be able to get at least a couple pictures of it that will look like more than a greenish blob- if so, I will definitely post them!

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