Saturday, July 10, 2004

Humming bird

I had gone out this morning at about 6:20 to get the newspaper. As I was walking back toward the front door, I walked by the flower bed. We planted something called "Vista Red Salvia" this summer, and it has had spikes of small red flowers all summer long.

I stopped walking when I noticed that a hummingbird was buzzing around the Salvia flowers at the other end of the bed. Based on the bright red feathers under its throat, I am going to guess that it was a ruby throated hummingbird.

I'm standing there watching him. He drinks from one flower while hovering in the air, pulls back, looks, turns and zips to the next flower, drinks, pulls back... He visits only the brightest red flowers. As he is flying, you can see the leaves below him moving from his wings' downdraft. As he gets down toward my end of the bed, I can actually feel the downdraft myself on my legs and feet when he truns and moves. His wings are moving so fast they are invisible.

As I am watching this I notice something else. About 3 inches in front of my face is a strand of spider silk. If I had stopped 3 inches later I would have broken it. After the hummingbird finishes and flies away, I look at this strand. Then I follow it. It is about 30 feet long - a single strand attached at one end to a tree's leaf and at the other end to the downspout on the house. No spider can be seen, and there is no web. Just the strand.

As I walk back to the front door, the bird that's built a nest on the front porch flies away, again. Every time you use the front door she flies over to a tree 10 feet away. Then, as soon as you step off the porch, she flies back.

Then when I walk in the front door, I notice that I'm not the only one taking this opportunity to enter the building. A big red beetle decides to walk in as well. He must have been sitting on the door's threshold waiting for his chance to get in.

Where did all these bugs and plants and animals come from? It's just amazing when you think about it...

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