Please Take Care of My Bird

Please Take Care of My Bird

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Female rufous hummingbird on hummingbird mint (Agastache rupestris ‘Acapulco Orange’) in my Boise garden

My garden right now is a sensory feast. This morning, I cut the peppermint back from the path and hung bundles of it from the covered arbor in which I’m sitting, and its aroma perfumes the enclosed space as I write.

The colors of every scene and view are dramatic. Red blanketflower glows against a backdrop of purple ninebark leaves. Golden yellow apples dot the ground, echoing paler yellow blossoms on ‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis and evening primrose. Across the courtyard in the mini-prairie, leaning stalks of spent Maximilian sunflower tower above madly blooming white and purple asters threaded with ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod, while airy switchgrass seedheads reflect jewels of light. It is an embarrassment of riches here, and I feel lucky to witness it all.

Birds and squirrels still enliven my yard, twittering and fluttering and scampering, but the last hummingbird left a week ago, adding a note of sadness to this season of goodbyes. I miss the hummingbirds — their squeaky voices, whirring wings, and lively curiosity.

I cut part of my trumpetvine back this morning. Trained as a small tree, it had encroached on half of my driveway, but I waited to be sure the last hummingbird was truly gone before removing any of it. I thought she might be spending these colder nights in its sheltered interior.

I imagine her making her way from Boise down to Mexico, maybe even crossing the Gulf in a nonstop 20-hour flight. Of course, she might also head for New Orleans. Whatever her winter destination, I hope she will have a successful journey there and back.

So if you are in her path, please take care of my bird. Leave your late-blooming nectar sources and your insects; she might need them for fuel. Be sure she can find a safe shelter for the night.

Without other gardeners to help her on her way, we won’t be reunited next year. I’m depending on you! And I’ll do the same for your birds.

Posted by

Evelyn Hadden
on October 7, 2015 at 1:52 am, in the category Gardening on the Planet.

    • Margaret Wilkie
    • 24th February 2016

    I love your bird. Plenty grows in my yard for anyone that stops by. There is water there and bees love the raspberry patch. I like to leave seed pods into the winter for their interest and nutrative value. Guests come by to sample the bounty. My neighbor grows salvia for the hummers. I’m sure gardeners hear the call to look after your bird. May fortune smile upon her travels.

    • admin
    • 3rd October 2016

    There’s been a lot of observational research on hummingbirds over the last decade. They have quite a varied diet.

    • Frank Mosher
    • 29th October 2016

    Lovely post!

    • Evelyn Hadden
    • 12th November 2016

    Thank you all for your appreciation (of this piece and of the birds).

    • Robert Gabella
    • 12th November 2016

    Beautiful – a reflective pause on the chain of life – and how easily it may be broken.

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