Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Mysterious Red Hummingbird

I cannot even begin to explain this marvelous creature of God that has been seen floating past our windows. She is bright red, shiny, breathtakingly lovely. I am in awe of this delicate little creature.

When I first saw her, I thought it was my imagination. I've never heard of a red hummingbird. I've seen quite a few ruby-throated hummingbirds, and these tiny birds are also absolutely spectacular. But the red bird is...different.

She moves very quickly, of course, and I cannot tell for certain if she is completely red, or just has a red body and darker wings. Her color is different from the ruby-throated. It is deeper, richer. Her body seems to shine. It catches the light when she moves past, but she is so fast! I wish she would slow down so I could get a closer look.

The local papers keep warning us that the hummingbird season is over. Our sweet, little hummers are moving on, they say. But the activity around our house has increased, and to record numbers. Our back door feeder has between three and five birds flitting about at all times, and there have been many times lately when I have counted eight birds feeding at the feeder or chasing each other around the patio.

My neighbor's daughter comes to visit when school lets out. She loves to sit on the patio with me and just talk. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, and she loves the hummingbirds. It is a magical place, where we sit and talk. The hummingbirds fly around us in circles, singing and chattering at each other, sometimes flying so close that we can feel the brush of air from their wings against our skin or in our hair. You can actually hear the movement of their wings when they are that close. It is a soft humming sound, like the sound of a bee buzzing around your head, but a bit louder, and yet, gentler, somehow. Such pretty little birds. Sweet, delicate, pretty little birds.

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