One of the nicest things about our recent cool weather (and for those of you not from Middle Tennessee, when I say cool, I mean less than 90) is that I can sit under the awning on my deck in the late afternoon when I get home from work. All the yards in my 20-ish year old neighborhood are an acre in size, and because of the lay of the land and the curves in the road, the view from my deck is of about six back yards coming together, forming a park-like scene. The hackberries and tulip poplars are tall and cast long shadows across the green expanse.
I take a sip of my drink and revel in the buccolic setting.
And then the battle begins. Whirring objects zoom past my head. Tiny combatants dive bomb one another. You see, it’s August–and that means the hummingbirds are out in full force.
Every year during the late summer we hang our hummingbird feeders. And every year, the tiny sugarwater-sucking monsters show up. And it seems that each and every hummingbird on earth has only one mission–to keep each and every other hummingbird away from the feeders.
There is plenty of food to go around. We have three feeders. But if one hummingbird is feeding, you can be sure that he/she will be attacked in short order.
They say that for every hummingbird you see, there are four that you don’t see. That means that there are dozens out in my backyard right now. During the next two weeks, we’ll see more and more of them. We’ll add food almost daily. And then, as quickly as they came, they’ll be gone. Flying off to Central America for a beach-side winter most of us would enjoy too.
They’re fascinating to watch. And you get the feeling that the directors who made the old-timey war movies featuring dog fights between fighter pilots must’ve watched hummers at some point.
But even though my deck does turn into a battle zone, I’ll take my chances. After all, I’m lots bigger than a hummingbird.