Sunday, August 26, 2007

Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

This is not my photo, but it's what I saw!

A long overdue update is on its way, but in the meantime, I just had the most incredible up close encounter with wildlife in our garden! I was out watering, with the rain shower hose wand pointed upwards to allow a gentle spray of water to fall on the plants. A hummingbird came to hover near the shower about three feet from me, and clearly expressed an interest in the water. I held the hose still, while the hummer inched closer and closer to the water, until finally its tiny body was getting gently sprayed. He wasn't even two feet from my hand! He bobbed up and down in the stream, and at one point hovered just above it so that his tiny feet were getting washed. He was jogging in place, moving his feet around in the spray, undoubtedly trying to clean them. Once that chore was done, he rotated around to place his beak briefly into the stream to drink, dunked his body to rinse, and then flew off to a nearby fence to preen and dry.

Wow. I sure picked just the right time to go out and water. Every time this image reappears in my mind I can't help but smile.

You hear about those patient folks who stand outside by their hummingbird feeders for what must be forever, to gradually tame those creatures to come closer and closer, until eventually they will sit on the human's outstretched finger. I feel very lucky.

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