Afternoon delight

1553/12th May 2022

While it is hard for me to find the enthusiasm for summer that I have for other times of year, there are certainly many moments of enjoyment to be found.

And it doesn’t need to be anything at all grand.

Gazing out a window yesterday afternoon, I noticed the clouds. Summer afternoon clouds have their own form.

Venturing forth to wander around, I found a number of very simple pleasures.

With the state of my vision currently, I tend to concentrate on what is nearby, so I was particularly pleased when I noticed a familiar-looking shape on the branch of a tree in my periphery.

“Not possible”, I thought. “It’s so small…”

But I turned around, lifting my camera and extended the zoom…..I was right!

Somehow my brain cells had recognized the tiniest shape of a hummingbird.

That I was able to capture its photograph was maybe even more surprising, given my wobble factor and that I was holding the camera aloft with the lens fully extended.

It is not a perfect image, I’ll grant. The focus is fuzzy and there is the shadow of a twig…

…then the bird moved and the light caught its ruby-red throat.

However the photograph turned out, I was much cheered at having spotted the bird.

As I walked on, past the lilac, not yet in bloom, I cast my eyes down to take in what I suppose you could call the meadow, which is positively bursting with life.

In the late afternoon sun, I thought how pretty it was.

Just grass and weeds but so lovely.

How cheerful the dandelions looked.

How sweet the Mama squirrel, taking a breather.

She recognized the purveyor of nuts and allowed a photograph. “Too tired to run!” she gasped.

Being a wild Mama is hard, this time of year.

Soon after, a russet tail appeared, under the apple tree.

We see them from time to time, but I am always fascinated by grey squirrels with red tails, so of course I zoomed in and guess what:

How did that happen?

Perhaps it’s a sign of how much my world has shrunk, that I should be intrigued by a squirrel’s tail being plucked out. Chewed out? I’m sure it could not matter less, yet it cannot be wrong ever, to be curious?

Just before sunset, I went out to get the suet feeders.

The temperature was perfect and there were not yet any serious bugs about, so I sat for a bit.

Trying to line up the wind chimes, I suddenly noticed another friend, of a different sort:

The celestial sort.

“Well hello!”

While I was doing that, I heard the buzz of tiny wings.

“Not taking our feeder in, are you?” they asked.

No, we don’t. Instead, we have to shift everything around out of temptation’s way. Why not just leave the hummingbird feeder there all the time?

Because there is so much traffic around the feeders during the day and the hummingbirds are so tiny…

Hummingbirds are like teeny tiny helicopters.

It is astounding to think that these minute, fragile creatures travel up and down to Mexico, returning to the same feeding stations.

They make me feel very humble.

And now I must go and replenish their sugar-water!

9 thoughts on “Afternoon delight

  1. As I read more and more of your posts, I think that you and Grant found yourselves a little piece of Heaven when you decided to leave the West Coast and head east. I so very much enjoy your photos and narrative. I say that from the fifth floor of my hi-rise condo in Virginia. I wish I had the beautiful land you have. I do, however, often have a bird or two or three stop by my balcony garden, especially since I purposely have all my containers housing plants/shrubs that draw bees, birds, and butterflies.

    1. That’s so nice. You must be very popular with the winged ones and it is so important to offer food especially to bees and butterflies.

  2. I love hummingbirds, but have never been able to get a picture of this beauty … and here you have so many beautiful ones! Now I also wonder what’s up with the little squirrel’s tail 🤔.

    1. Never say never! They pop up in unexpected places. On Long Island I never saw one and yet they were regular visitors all the way up in Maine.

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