Weather is trying to switch over towards Spring but Zen isn’t about to give up Winter that easily. The hummingbirds have been moving back in and we have at least one new boy to irritate Lass….
The Return of Lass
After the last winter wunderland bit, both Ma and I were concerned about Lass. She had been up here staying in one of the junipers that is in the ” Test Garden” which is next to the Porch and their winter feeder.
Temps dropping down into the low twenties, which normally doesn’t bother the kids too much, but also Eastern winds constantly freezing up the feeders did give them a rough time.
Days went by with more snow piling up , once again. On the bright side, the snow made the juniper into a Hummie Igloo.. to the point that I got worried that maybe the two; Hollywood and Lass, might have been snowed in..Until I saw Hollywood come flying out. That day, I saw Lass in the early morning, and then once again some time later. Hollywood was staying in the covered porch most of the day. He would sit above the door going into the Morning room, I had the wood door open but storm door closed. A bit of warmth from the wood stove would keep the area quite a bit warmer than the rest of the porch area and a HECK of a lot warmer than outside.
I did have the times when I would crack the storm door open so that either of them could come in if they wanted to but both would peek in then take off once more…Stubborn.. Lass has lived inside so she knows she can go in and out as she pleases… She had come all the way inside to look around before she headed out… I had seen her one more time after that, then nothing. As the day had been, well, not as bad as it had been, I thought maybe she had made a trip to town to hang with Hummie and the family. Hollywood however decided to stay.
For several days I would watch for the hummers, swapping feeders any time they would start to get ice in them. Hollywood would come in and hang until it started to get late then I would see him again later in the following morning. Still no Lass.
The weather finally broke between storms and another male came in to visit Hollywood. They raced around together for a few days before it was just Hollywood again, shoveling out his fly way to the Juniper in the mornings then hanging in the porch area.
With the second storm over, temps started to rise. One morning we suddenly had four hummers up here. Hollywood, another male with Yellow where Hollywood is white and a couple females. They were so busy though I couldn’t be sure one of them was Lass. The other was too young and small still.
Finally This weekend, Lass came in, making a big production of it, including hovering at my window low enough to look under my monitor and started chirping up a storm at me until I stood so she could see me better. Next thing, Lass was taking over once again. Hollywood’s time alone was over.
Hey Da ! I’m Back !” Lass said as she hovered in front of me.
” When did you leave? “
” HA! Hollywood told me that you keep looking for me and Ma has been worried.”
” Nahhhhh.. It was just a little too quiet. Hollywood only chitters when someone is bugging him.”
” Wait… Are you saying I talk a lot? I don’t talk a lot! I barely talk at all. I just watch and listen..”
” ..and talk.”
She glared at me. ” I do not talk a lot.” she huffed.
” Oooookkk ..”
Hollywood sat in the bush watching us..snickering.
” I HEAR you !” She called over her shoulder. Hollywood burst out laughing…. Then flew off before she spun, taking off after him.
I grin at the two. It was nice to be back to the relative normal of Zen now with the hummers arguing .
I walk back inside, sat down at my computer to see a new male sitting on the fence watching me.
” Mornin Da”
” Well Hi little man. ” I watched him as he fluffed, turning left and right. ” Wow! You look awesome ! Nice colors.”
” Yup! Ma’s colors! Did it special .”
He was indeed a fancy looking boy and completely unlike the rest of the Annas. Where Hummie is now orange with age, and Liam, Is red and Hollywood is more magenta . Plum boy is a rich plum color. Both shoulders have a Bright stark white chevron and his back where the boys run in colors of green..and Lass is green to yellow, he is Plum colored there as well.
While I talk to him I heard Ma in the living room, ” Who you talking to?”
” A new boy.. Plum Boy. Never saw one these colors before. Definitely an Anna but new colors. “
Ma got up to come take a look while Plum Boy chittered and showed off his fancy cloak as I chatted with him. The moment Ma looked out the window, he took off..” Brat!”
Plum Boy came in once again this morning to check on me. ” Mornin Da! I’m back !”
” Wait a minute little man, I want to take your picture.”
” Sure sure.” He sat on the fence waiting. I had to run to the Morning Room where I had left the camera. When I got back I tried to get a pic.. I couldn’t get a focus on him with so much around us. He finally got frustrated and headed to the feeder where he started chatting away with Hollywood.
To court or Not to court
As I was out last week due to my dang shoulder, I am a little behind on the stories with the kids.
In the wee hours of the morning, while Ma and I sit on the porch listening to the coyote kids, watching the stars and waiting for signs of morning light, we could hear Rhey and Dennis off to the North East and the rest of the pack down towards the den.
” Rhey! You sound like a dog. Don’t you know that coyotes don’t bark? “
” Mornin Da. ” Rhey peeked over the berm while Dennis loped around from the North.
” Mornin Da! I’m mousing!”
” Mornin Dennis. So something new and different then? “
Dennis cocked his head to the side, staring at me. He looked to Rhey, who rolled her eyes..
“Never mind Dennis. It went over your head.”
Dennis whipped his head up, scanning the skies. ” What did?” His tongue slowly slip out of his mouth, waggling off the side.
“Yip!” Rhey said as she shook her head, trotting down towards the wood pile. ” Ma get me a wood rat yet?”
” Other wood pile Rhey.”
She stopped, turn towards the north padding up to the other pile, standing at the edge of the wood, staring. ” Ahhh.. My fav; Squirrel tartar. ” Edging upwards, she climbed the pile until she could get to her prize, pulling it out and off she went, Dennis looking towards the pile then his retreating sister.
“Yip! Wait up!” He launched himself into the air, landing heavily to his left in an uncontrolled roll.
I chuckled as I watch the little man roll back to his feet, looking up at me with a shrug and ran off.
The sun barely showing a glow yet this early had my interest as I watch clouds shifting, reflecting the reds oranges and purple of predawn.
I heard a buzz off to my left making me look. Lass was already up , long before normal.
” Well mornin Lass. You’re up early aren’t you?”
” Not like I could get any sleep with all of you yapping up a storm.”
” Technically , they were yipping.”
Lass glowered at me from the feeder.
” Ah… not a morning person…”
” Maybe if it was morning! It is still dark out.”
” ..and yet, here you are.” I grin at the flustered hummingbird.
” Well , I live right there ! You guys are pretty much yelling in my open windows.”
” Umm, you mean yapping..er yipping..”
” That would probably be more entertaining in a few hours….after the sun has come up.” She griped.
“sooooooo how’s Hollywood?”
” Also irritating …..HE is always watching guy shows.”
” Guy shows?”
” Yeah… Net Geo with those exotic hummingbirds….” she said, rolling her eyes.
” Ahhhh.. so all sexy in tropics then eh?”
” You watch them too! Men! Gawh!” and with that, Lass flew back to bed.
The sun began to throw out a little more light as it began its climb over the ridge tops, bringing in more hummers.
Plum Boy flew in chittering up a storm, which sent Hollywood after him. The two flew around the deck and into the covered porch where they race around Ma’s and my head only to fly back out and around the house.
A third male came in while the other two were playing, he had four feathers on his face that created a mustache…
” hmmm Good morning Snidely .” I said with a grin.
” Who? Me? .” The little hummer said as he watched me over the feeder’s edge.
” Yup…Everyone get’s a Zen Mountain name.”
” Well, what if I already have a name? “
” Ok..fine…what is your name Snidely?”
” mmmmm fine….whatever…. Snidely will have to do.” He said as he looked down at me…his whiskers twitching.
“So.. you gonna ang out with Hummie’s clan this year?”
“Well….. Hummie hasn’t said it’s ok yet, but I am hoping.. One of his daughters..”
” Yeah?” Lass said as she hovered behind him.
” Crap…” Snidely said as he flew off, Lass chasing him.
” So…not the daughter then?” I asked as the two flew by again. Hollywood and Plum Boy right behind them.
Pack it up
The sun rose slowly to peek over the eastern ridge line as I watched Limpy, Red, Rhey and Dennis as they made their way across the berm. Rhey took off towards the pit, Red on her tail . Dennis lowered his head, stopping so quickly that his rear legs flew over his hips. Limpy, standing at the peak of the berm, looked to Dennis, then to me, sighed and turn to watch the sun begin to rise.
Rhey and Red, at the pit began to grumble about how much new green stuff there was and barely any goodies for them.
Dennis leap into the air, landing with his nose in a mouse hole, yipped into the ground.
We all turn to watch Dennis now, the girls from the pit, Limpy from the berm, and myself from the porch.
” It friggin bit me !” Dennis yelled as he stared at the ground.
” Bite it back.” I called back.
Dennis began digging in earnest as the girls began to get closer in order to get a better seat for the fun. Limpy, rolled his eyes.” Come on guys.. Hurry it up .”
” Digging as fast as I can.” Called Dennis from between his legs.
Rhey sitting to one side and red to the other of Dennis as he dug harder then bit. ” Got it!” Dennis said with a full mouth.
” There had better be enough to share with the rest of the class.” Rhey said as she watched Dennis flip the mouse into the air and then catch it in his teeth.
” Wait..What? ” Dennis said, as he swallowed. ” You know.. There’s plenty more.”
Rhey watched Dennis for a moment, leaping up, ” Nah, I’m good. You have no idea where that thing has been.” She shuddered and ran off.
Dennis crossed his eyes, trying to look at his mouth.
Red giggled as she ran off after Rhey.
” Pack it up guys. Time to head home. Your mom is calling.. Your turn to babysit.”
” Gawh… new babies again. Can we just have Dennis do it? ” Red asked.
Limpy stopped, turned around, looking to his kids. Looking at Red he asked,” Do you really want your brother in charge of teaching your new siblings?”
Red, Rhey and Limpy turn to stare at Dennis who had stumbled into a bush while he was still cross eyed trying to see in his own mouth.
Looking up, Dennis grin from ear to ear, his eyes slowly rolling left to right and back again. ” What?” he said as he try to pull his foot out of the roots from the bush.
“Riggghhttttt.. never mind.” Red said, her shoulders sagging before she turn to trot off again. ” Come on Rhey, we have drool duty to get to.. Minds to shape and all..”
Rhey look at Dennis, then Limpy, finally , back to me. ” Crrrrrrrap.” She sighed , leaping off to catch up to her older sister.
Dennis looked to Limpy, then back to me, again to Limpy, then slowly his eyes crossed again as he stuck out his tongue.
” Well… Guess I’ll be going just now.” I said, grinning.
Limpy look up to me, slowly shaking his head , turning and following the girls.
Dennis look up quickly, seeing me but none of the pack. ” Oops!” He cried as he burst forth…..into a tree.
” Dennis!..Uncross your eyes..friggin dork. ” I called to him as I walk into the house.
Well, dang shoulder is killing me yet again today… May not have helped myself clearing the larger stones and small waist sized rocks from the upper field for the entrance project I have been working on but I also doubt it has all that much to do with this crud. Getting old seems to be annoying… Not taking all of the aspirin every day is great, I find that some of the things I have been masking with it is now pokin’ at me….Anyway.. made it through the post today if only just.
I was able to do a nice burn the other day, didn’t tell Ma until she saw it on break. She doesn’t like burns. We have spent way too much time with wild fires , but I pick my days and times and have been burning since the early seventies both at home and work without any problems..so I sneaks I do … Now I can start moving some of the other wood that needs to be burned to the pile for another day even if it isn’t until next year. While I was burning one of our herds of deer, the one with Our Girl and Lil Buck watched…for hours…..just stood and watched me burn. Once I cleaned things up and came in. The little troop came in so Lil Buck, Our Girl, the little young doe and her mom could all lay under my office window. Other does lay around the edge of the deck , all of us just waiting for Ma to get off work.
I managed to get back up all the fencing that has been torn down from the heavy winds and snows as well as the actual entry, and the other fence line restarted after it was ripped down to put in an underground power line, that doesn’t even involve us along our northern edge of our little north park. Having the time to finally do these jobs is awesome. I am still managing to keep pretty busy with more new things coming up quicker than I can finish the old list. No problem, I have the time.
Today, Ma and I are watching a raw fleece sale on, yup, WAFA. We watched some instructional on prepping the fleece and got us both excited about taking this next step backwards; taking fleece, cleaning prepping and packaging to get it ready for combing and then blending to get the fiber ready for Ma to spin to knit t make our clothes.
Personally, I think it is all pretty cool, yes, more work, but it is the journey as much as the end product. Every step is an achievement on its own.
So as I sit here griping to Ma about my shoulder while we sit and watch folk sell fleece from their sheep, I sit and grin and know that this is
Just another day on Zen Mountain