We are going to do a little side-step today and play with something a tad bit different. This may not be about horses, wild or domestic, but it is about the love of God’s wild creatures and that is what my wife, Terry, is all about.
Terry is both a certified Master Gardner and also, now, a Master Naturalist and on our property, it shows. She grows plants and gardens exclusively for hummingbirds and butterflies. Not only plants that have blooms that appeal to each but also plants that lure specific butterflies to lay their eggs and then eat the plants they are born on. It is beauty to behold.
Here in South-East Texas we lie in the migratory path of many birds but it is the Hummingbirds that have come to stop here going both ways…and on the insect side, it is the regal Monarch butterflies that pull up for a quick refill and even drop an egg or two.
While the Giant Tanzanian milk weeds await the Monarchs the Ruby Throated Humming birds have arrived in force and a dozen feeders are out in an attempt to keep them all fueled up and ready for the next leg of the trip. Over the past week we have spent the morning and evening hours sitting in her back pool garden, sipping adult beverages and dipping in the pool (to beat the 100 degree weather – the dogs join us) and watching the buzzing, chirping madness that is the crazy hummers unfolding around us.
I attempted to get a few shots with my iPhone but then had the brilliant idea to set the phone up on a tripod and activate it remotely, in slow-mo, with my iWatch…WOW. Not only did we find the action to be of intense interest but the real shocker came with the transformation of their multiple chirps which took on meaning and significance when slowed down.
After reviewing multiple takes I landed on the one inserted below as the ones with many participants muddied the waters and the clip below zeroes in on the interactions of just a few and the communication is extremely intriguing. Be sure to turn up your volume when you view and see if you can hear the threats and the calls hidden in their normal chirps.
Also, I raise the question, after reviewing all of this; do the Hummers think and comprehend at a much higher rate of speed than we do? Watch the slow motion, it appears to be the normal speed for them while all we see are these little darts of a bird flying about at high speed in what we think to be reckless abandon. If so, then we must appear to be lumbering giants that move in slow-mo and hence, are no threat to them. There is no way that the human mind could navigate and negotiate the type of high speed flight that they perform, no way.
So for your Sunday, enjoy, ask yourself a few mind opening question and appreciate the wonder that lives all around us as we simply trudge our daily paths without giving the beauty its notice.
Be safe, my friends. ~ R.T.
See Terry and her Hummers, below: