I've been trimming bushes the last couple of days. I don't mind the trimming per se; it's the clean-up that bores me but it goes with the territory so as I was working my way from shrub to shrub, I was trying to convince myself that it was the next-to-the-last time I'd have to do it this year. I'm not sure it worked; it's probably the next to the next-to-last time. Maybe I'll get lucky...or I could just stall and let them look shaggy longer.
I was hardly alone while I did the ones off the back corner. These guys kept me company:
Well, they really weren't as interested in me as they were in protecting the sugar water inside that jar. And the air battles that go on in the process are a hoot to watch.
We've had a pair of hummingbirds that have been regulars at the feeder since early in the spring. They start out shy, zipping in for a drink and bolting at the first hint of movement. Over time, they figure out we're pretty harmless and while they won't let you get very close, they'll now come to the feeder while we're outside. They do, however, keep a wary eye on you like the little female is doing in the photo above.
She saw me sitting about ten feet await, started and stopped a dozen times, and finally came in for a little of the sweet water.
Lately we've had "invaders"...at least that's how the local duo views them. While the pair has been willing to share the nectar I provide with one another, they aren't having any part of these new interlopers. Let one of these newbies approach the feeders and the old gang is after them. They zip and dart and squeak their little scolding squeak until they chase the foreigners off. It's only temporary though; they come back. And that's just what was going on while I was trimming bushes. I tried my best to capture it to share but they are just so erratic and quick I wasn't successful.
I'm sure as soon as I finished this particular stretch of bushes and moved to the front this little guy took up his usual perch on the shepherd's hook that holds the feeder. He spends a lot of time there, guarding his meal from all who dare to approach. Makes sense to me...saves him from flying in from a nearby tree.
There seems to be lots of hummingbirds in our area right now. Thanks to the ones who hang out at my feeder I've learned to recognize their little squeaks so I hear them in the bottle brush bushes as I walk around the neighborhood. I'm guessing many have spent the summer farther north and cooler weather has brought them our way. And when those lower temperatures reach here, they'll be off to points farther south, including the pair who've called our yard home this summer. I'll miss them but by then the bushes will have stopped growing too. There's good with every bad.