Oh it’s all about “Hummie”
Just ask anyone. “Hummie ” rules Zen Mountain top.
From Bumble Bees to Bull Elk , it doesn’t matter to the little Anna , they all must follow his rules of the moment.
“Hummie” seems less bird and more chicken nugget gone wrong. The size of a nugget and yet he will not only stare down but chew out anyone or anything that comes to close to the homestead. I am just his favorite “person” to pick on.
We all have to admit however, it IS my fault if a bug gets into his juice or if it gets cold. I know this for fact as he will come and chew me out for it.
Yeah , no ; True story
It is a real thing , not fancy. Hummie knows us well as he has lived here for years raising several batches of kids and hangs out with Ma and myself whenever we are out.
He loves to fly up into my face if there isn’t a perch close enough, flare his head red and precede to let me have it.
” You moved my feeder! WHY did you move it? Put it back!”
” My feeder at the Wind Garden is getting low! Come on I’ll show you.”
Like a freakin feathered Lassie. He actually does this stuff. No kidding.
“What? Little Timmy is down the well?”
Have you ever had a bird glare at you? Yes , they can do that. Hummie’s sense of humor and mine don’t always jive .
I , of course, have no way of knowing whether or not other folk’s hummingbirds are as crazy as ours are or if it is simply because we treat them like kids. I mean why not? You talk to them enough , spend enough time with animals they latch on.
One of Hummie’s and for that matter, all of his ilk , favorite things is to see how close they can zip across us when we are out there with them.
Hummie will be at the feeder , Ma on the porch. I walk around the corner of the house and he will zip by on his way out close enough to brush my hair.
When the kids play fight , as they always do growing up each summer, Ma and I are part of the battlefield . Last year’s ” Evil Twins” were constantly getting into each other’s faces. The two would be one ball of fluff bouncing off the ground , walls , us….. They didn’t care. BATTLE ON!
Generally when the kids fight, whether Hummie’s or the other hummers that come through from Spring to Fall. Ma and I are Sanctuary . We don’t yell at them , but they still get told to behave…So they will fly in to the porch , most often around Ma to stop , perch take a breath and as soon as one takes off it back at it.
The twins however, would fly around us , as in inches from head and face , as they fight brushing us. A couple of over grown mosquitoes . IN to the porch where Ma sits making us both laugh trying to keep Ma between them.
Hummie , His self
Hummie will break up a fight only because of the racket. Think about it, your kids running around the house yelling and screaming at each other . Pushing shoving.
” He’s Touching ME!”
” No I’m not!”
You know there gets a point where they end up in corners . Hummie just breaks it up then chases one as the other sits grinning..Until he comes back to do the same to him.
The other hummers come through to visit passing from North to South us being one of the few refuges in a whole lot of dry come summer. Trees to put up the tent and raise a family quietly with the exception of the boys and their pissing contests.
Hummie complains to me at the get go…
” Tell them to go!”
” Pretty sure you already covered that Hum.”
“It’s your fault.”
We put up several feeders in several areas out of sight of each other , keeping Hummie on his toes as he tries to patrol them all.
We can go through a couple liters of ” Juice” in a day when they are all up here, keeping Ma on her toes trying to make sure fresh is up and cooled.
There are feeders on both sides of the house . They are on the shop. They go down to the Southern Garden in ” Little Eden” and up to a feeder in ” The Wind Garden”.
There are of course the “special feeders” My original decades ago now the very first at the shop. A few years later I had to put up a second on the shop. The original gets hit hard by all of them. The next couple specials are there on either side of the porch. The Hummers like to come socialize with us. New hummingbirds come in every year , but there are the regulars that come in and sit around with us..Until Hummie sees that.
Several new ones , as in the last 5 or so years new are more hit and miss. They go down simply because Hummie doesn’t pester them there.
One at the North End of ” Little Eden” gets hit very hard for that reason. It is also a fav as in the mornings I hand water gardens before work and the little guys come flying in to play in the water.
Take it Down !
Hummie, like myself ,is not a big fan of winter. I , at least, think the snow is pretty….in small amounts off to the sides of the road…
Hummie , however does not care for winter period..Go figure.
We made up a couple frames for the porch several years ago so that it isn’t so bitter for Ma when she sits out there..Also less snow against the door for me to move.
Hummie sees the frames as a plot to make him have to fly an extra couple feet to where the feeder does NOT belong!
Come LATE Fall…as I simply don’t need the endless chewing out…. I first move the feeder..fine.. some six feet… Hummie then finds me and pulls a Me.
“WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?!” “Move it back!” ” We have this discussion every year!”
This is followed by the..
“TAKE IT DOWN TAKE IT DOWN TAKE IT DOWN!!!”
Conversation as…yes..AS… I put up the frames. Hummie sees all. He flies within a foot of my face , turning red and chittering at me as I work…
” Yes Hummie..I know Hummie…Just a few months Hummie..”
Hummie , more than once…. decided to spend an entire winter up here without hitting town. It , of course, got so cold the second year of that we thought he would die. The temps hit single digits . Hummie was so cold he could barely fly. We changed out the feeder every hour or so. We put some christmas lights around it for a bit of heat without being too warm that he would freeze once he left the feeder. I even put a christmas tree on the porch , trying to give him a slightly warmer place to put up his sleeping bag.
The last time he flew out , we thought for sure he had froze… Nope , there had been a slight break after weeks of hoarfrost and in the middle of the freezing fog cloud that he had made it , most likely to a relative warm spot in town. He only needed to be warmed up enough to make the flight.
The weather broke and Hum was back again. For a week or two , we thought for sure he hadn’t made it. When he came back in, and with Hum , there is no doubt… We both got pretty excited….which irritated him and I got chewed out…. go figure. I shouldn’t have let it get so cold……Apparently.
That was Hum’s last full winter stay. He now heads to town to hang with his own better half who , like Ma and myself, doesn’t put up with his me-isms …. Ying/Yang/ rolling pin.
Any time the weather breaks during winter Hum is back up here if only for a fly by and some of Ma’s juice. When it is freezing up here we keep swapping out feeders to make sure if he pops in , he is fed.
Where’d ya go?!?
The hummers actually look for us when we aren’t outside. It is far from uncommon for Hum to head to Ma’s office to stare in her windows until he sees her ,then he will perch.
When the weather warms and we are outside pretty much from before dawn to after dark…heavens forbid if we go inside… Hum and his ilk will fly into the porch to look up and down the windows until they find us. It is not uncommon to have two and three hummers staring in the windows at us.
” Can Mom come out to play ?”
I have a hummer that like to sit outside my window of my office. She will chitter until I hear her and start talking t her. If she hears me playing , she will swoop in to sit at the fence outside my window as well until I am done , then off she goes.. I have caught her a couple times actually bobbing as I play….No , seriously.
Though “Hummie” never leaves with the exception of a week here and there , even his Mrs. and kids take off during the chill….. They are coming back now to check out what Hum has done to the cabin. The days of sitting around his living room watching the big screen in his jumper sipping nectar through silly straws is coming to a close for the season.
I was out on the porch chatting with Hum when one of his boys came in. The two felt like the Angel on one shoulder and devil on the other as I ended up between them…You can guess which was which.
Hum , of course, threw a tantrum enough to make me proud while his boy covered on my other side ignoring him and watching me. Hum took off in a huff while his boy watched me from a couple feet away at eye level.
I then chatted with his boy noticing the slight color differences between the two.
Hummie’s colors, like my own , are fading a bit . I am going…who am I kidding? I have a couple not white or grey hairs left.. Hummie’s reds are more orange while his boy’s are quite vivid in their dark almost maroon colors when he flares his hood….Which he would do slightly as I talked, more and more as I told him how nice it looked. His greens are richer as well. The shadings were akin to Hum’s just newer looking…
It seems he is just coming into his Adultery ….
At the beginning
So… I have mentioned this story before back on SPA before the hackers made me take the easy way out…
When I very first moved to Zen I had both kinds of soil: Rocky & Dead. I could grow various sorts of weeds as well as Zen’s own wildflowers. Anything else was pretty much a poor joke.
I spent the first year digging a garden lifting out tons of rock..literally.. All by hand.. well shovel , pick wheel barrow and hand. Once it was cleared, I hand dug , pre-tiller era …the remaining soil then added truck loads of manure. I got a great crop of tomatoes… The deer loved them.
The homestead having so little in the realm of Hummilicious plants I saw maybe a couple a year. They were on their way from Point ” A” to Point ” B”
Water reserves were even tighter then than now and between the short season, deer elk and winds the garden got smaller and smaller. The now ” WIND garden went mostly dormant….The grass is nice and lush these days thank you very much…
I moved growing to the now New and improved “Hummie Garden” Back in the day it was a few roses and the old clematis.
One day I was walking through the garden area when a small jet flew over….Then made a “U”ie and buzzed my head again… It was the biggest hummingbird I have ever saw …to date.
The next year , the same thing. I decided to put out a feeder.
Ok , now I had a couple that would come through , normally first part of Spring then again around July fourth.
More interestingly , I saw a blue hummer… Once a year for a day , it would pass by in July at some point… Up to just a few years ago… I never managed to get a pic as it didn’t linger …
The hummingbirds had found Zen Homestead.
Ma meets Hummie
It was Spring when Ma was visiting from our Idaho place . We were clearing the place up to put the present house up. Ma and I were over by the woodshed taking a quick break when a little hummingbird flew into Ma’s face hovering…
Ma, meet Hum..Hum, meet Ma… Love at first sight….. He has pestered the hell out of me ever since..
That year the house went up. The following Spring we started putting out feeders again the original that was always swamped by then and new to slow down the bickering Bickersons ….. Every year since we add one more….Brats.
A couple summers ago now, Ma ; my better half, and I were sitting on the porch with all the hummers of the season whipping around us, hitting the four feeders in the porch area while I grimaced at the yellow jackets that were pestering the hummers at the feeders.
When the weather gets hot dry and still the yellow jackets get bad. No matter what we try to do , they are everywhere.
One of the little Rufous Hummers at the feeder suddenly was hanging upside down. Only a few feet away , I saw the yellow jacket by him. I lifted him from the feeder to get him away and safe. He was stunned. He sat on the palm of my hand for several minutes while we hoped he would be ok.
Several minutes later he started to move around a little more, his eyes focusing a little. A few more minutes and he spread his wings , trying to get up. Before long he was able to fly though he only made it to the fence where he sat for a bit more. He eventually flew again , landing on the ground.
It took the little guy a good half hour before he was more or less himself… Dang yellow jackets are almost as big as the hummers. Swatting the dang things takes out a few but even then on the bad days that is little help.
Sunday Sunday Sunday Stupid time change
Well, I can say that we are nowhere near dawn when we get up now, at least for awhile.
Ma has to work early today so she was up in what is still to us ; the wee hours… Myself? I refused to get out of bed…so I stared at the ceiling until I could stand it anymore, getting up at wee lite.
Yesterday we managed to set up the growing station for our veggies and flowers. Ma then sat out trays and trays of soil all prepped up. She then let me help put in seeds…Awe-some…. More on that next week.
I started some more work on a couple of my Bass guitars …my hands still suffering from that friggin flu from weeks ago are actually starting to show a bito gettin back towards the normal side so I was able to do some neck work on Both the Gibson and my Dean.
I apparently hadn’t paid too much attention the last time I messed with the Dean as I found a ton of neck work to do. Gawwhhh.. I have some fret leveling and re-crowning yet to take care of but she is fine for now. The Gibson is pretty pretty. Putting the flatwound strings on her and tape wound on the Dean sets them up for the completely different voices I am looking for when I can finally get back to working on the songs again.
Today I have to , of course, figure out what soup sounds good with the temps supposedly rising. I think a hot and spicy white bean Italian sounds pretty good… If it gets warm enough , the Zen mix will put enough overdrive in the heat to cool us off and if it doesn’t warm that much it’ll be enough to break the chill.
Breaking the dawn
The morning finally starts to show its colors. The sun opening a lazy eye , peaking over ts woolen covers.
Gotham , still wrapped in the dark of night burns bright below us , reflections of light both from the town and the soon to come morning reflect off the river.
Our breeze still in slumber waiting for the warmth of the sun to bring it to life. Chill of the morning meets warmth of the day to come.
Night birds tucked away dreaming of a new eve to come . The song birds still waiting for the light of day before they are willing to climb out of their nests leaves Zen in its quiet solitude, those moments between as time stands still.
Our deer dozing , getting in that last wink of sleep before they stretch with the warmth of the rays of a sleepy sunrise. Coyote kids snuggling in their den before they make their rounds again. All is still and silent.
I watch as color drains , changes and refills the skies with brand new colors all changed from the moments before.
You can feel it building; the day … In just one more breath the day will start anew. If you just hold your breath , you can feel Zen’s heart beating. You can hear her waking as the sun stretches to the East. A new day , new adventures for so many of our kids will start in just another breath..Just one more heartbeat and the magic will break over the mountain… Just hold your breath for just a moment longer and you can feel it start… And there is is….Just now….In this very second…. Your heart beats again…and its
Just another day on Zen Mountain