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.
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...