A Hover of Hummingbirds

Posted by on Jul 29, 2017 in flowers, summer, Unmowed Blog | 2 comments

A bright cool morning. Not even close to chilly, but cool enough that I’m wearing my favorite red long-sleeved shirt as I stand pondering my flower garden.

Time for some mid-season rearranging. It’s like a chess game, deciding what to move where. The ferns are getting too much sun, the marigolds are getting too much shade, the geraniums are overtaking the petunias, and there’s quite possibly altogether too much bee balm.

Now bee balm is an easy plant to grow, and it’s a native, and it attracts hummingbirds who love the color red. But it does tend to spread. It’s fire-engine red color doesn’t really blend with the pink phlox and orange daylilies…

Idle thoughts abruptly interrupted by a low, throbbing whirr that sounds unnervingly like the hum of Darth Vader’s light saber. A hummingbird zooms up and halts right in front of me, apparently suspended on a string in front of my nose. The wings are an almost invisible blur as the hummingbird hovers about eighteen inches in front of my face.

The bird hangs there, in midair, contemplating me. My red shirt must seem like a giant flower, the mother lode of nectar. The bright spark of an eye studies me as the bird considers the issue, thoughts jetting through its brain: Hm. Flower? Right color. Too big. No.

The bird turns on a dime, and then suddenly soars—there’s no other word for it—powering upwards like a stone thrown across the sky. Then it vanishes in the trees.

Okay. Time to plant some more bee balm.



  1. Thanks for this post!

    At the Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, there is a place for hummers…thousands there year-round…my Mother loved hummingbirds and whey they are around, even here in Montana, they remind me of her. She rests now in a columbarium loaded with the bright desert flowers and hummingbirds abound.

    • How lovely! I remember her with much fondness, even though I was about 8 when I last saw her.

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