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Monday, April 15, 2013

Hummingbird Moments...

It seems since last summer I have been profoundly aware of hummingbirds. It started the day I was to finish my first large image transfer on a shipping pallet. As I was finishing it under our huge oak tree in our side yard last July, I thought of my grandmother. She had been a creative touchstone throughout my entire life and I miss her greatly, since her passing several years ago. Since I started carving more time creatively this past year, however its almost as if I feel her smiling. She too was a lover of small birds and her yard was full of them.

It was on this summer afternoon, in the heat of a Southern California July when I thought if my grandmother could come back and visit, I bet it would be through a bird as the local peacocks were starting to caw. Realizing it was now approaching 5 p.m. I set out to the other side of the yard to water some of the trees and bushes where our automatic sprinklers didn't reach and were quite parched. As I was watering our Azalea shrub something caught my eye and I happened to look down. To my utter surprise there on the walking path was a little hummingbird. It was not fully grown for its beak was shorter than all the hummingbirds I had seen before.

I bent down and picked her up, she was alive... but wet. Apparently I had accidentally squirted her with water. So there we were, this tiny, innocent, beautiful bird and I her sitting on my front steps of my home. I so badly wanted to take her photo or share this moment instantly with anyone, but I was the only one home and didn't want to scare her by bringing her inside for me to fetch my camera. In those minutes it was as if the world had paused. There we sat in the sun, with my palm open and her just looking at me.  Pure joy.  After a few moments I walked over to where I had found her and she flew off into the trees above. It was and is one of the most precious moments in my entire my life.

Then later that summer I found a nest at the beach house we were staying at with two tiny eggs in it! I photographed it and made a sign so that no one would disturb it. (She had built her nest on some ivy  next to a driveway where it could easily be knocked over.) Inspired by these two experiences I  did this large image transfer, of one of the photos I took of her nest.  It is on half of a door that my neighbor was going to throw away.
In the hole where the doorknob went I built a nest and placed a small,
 decorative hummingbird that I had bought at a garage sale a few months prior.
Here's a closeup of it.
Then a few weeks ago just outside my kitchen window, on top of the wind chime we had brought back from Maui several years ago, was a little tiny nest.  The next day while out in the yard prepping and cleaning some fence boards I saw her, the mom was sitting on her nest. I began to say hello to her as I would enter or leave from the kitchen door. I was on hummingbird watch and took a few distant photos of her while she sat on it. Because it was under an overhang the vantage point was difficult for detail shots. Then one day last week I saw her feeding them, they had hatched! While I was sitting at my kitchen table talking with a client! I felt as if God had given me a gift to witness such a thing.

Later that day when she was out doing whatever it is that hummingbirds do, I took several photos of these precious little newborn birds. It was rather comical scene as it entailed me to basically take off the screen of the window, balance on a ladder in my kitchen, hanging outside the window and putting my camera above the nest, which was above my head! I knew I couldn't touch the nest or anything near it, for fear that my scent would cause her to leave them. So awkwardly I aimed as best I could above the nest and started clicking away. I took several photos in the hopes of one would actually be focussed and in the frame. This is what I got...
Amazing aren't they?

It is with great sadness that I came home yesterday to an empty nest. Part of my wind chime had been broken off and I knew they were gone. It broke my heart and my husband tried to sooth me by saying that maybe the mother had moved them.  I knew that wasn't the case, I just felt it.

Sometimes I struggle with the laws of nature and that the strongest prevail. I don't understand why somethings happen as they do.  But I am learning to find the gifts in what life teaches me.

I am grateful for my hummingbird moments, which they will, from here out, be referred to... Hummingbird Moments. These are the precious moments that we must stop ourselves and be exactly where we are. Life happens while we are making plans, that doesn't mean we stop planning. These sweet little birds reminded me to soak in the moments as they come. True joy is in the details.  It can be fleeting however, but the gift is the ability to see and recognize them AS they unfold in our lives.  For this I am grateful.  God bless you.


  1. Love your story about the wet baby bird. We have a hummingbird nest on our patio too. She also has two eggs in the nest. Can't wait to see them become little babes :) I feel that I have also recently become more aware of hummingbirds in my daily life. Feels like there is some connection to the spirit world through them? Found your blog via the craftcaction ass kickers! Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks Randee and I agree...I think we're onto something here!


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