Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Scribblings in Maine: The War Zone

I wrote a lot of posts while we were in Maine this summer, but I couldn't publish them to my blog due to sketchy internet availability. I thought I'd publish them as a series (which seems a bit presumptuous; a "series," indeed) so you can read about what I was thinking and doing during that time. I'm much more thoughtful when my life is not crazed and chaotic.

Here's the first:

I'm living in the middle of a war zone, and this time my daughters are not the combatants. As I write this, I'm sitting on the deck of our cabin with a lovely view of the lake where the girls are swimming. I am filled with a quiet joy.

Out of nowhere, a thrumming buzz behind me interrupts my peace. A few mouse-like squeaks and then something swoops perilously close to the top of my head with another something hot on its tail. "Tail" is an appropriate word choice.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds on the warpath.

Small in size but huge in spirit, ruby-throated hummers are aggressive, fiercely guarding "their" territory and feeders, of which I have two. I have seen a hummer take a few sips and then dart up into a nearby tree to watch the feeder. Should an unwary interloper arrive -- and they always do -- the first hummer zips down commando-style to chase away the enemy.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

I attributed this feeder-aggression to a need for constant nourishment to fuel their extremely high activity level. While this is important, I recently learned that aggression levels tend to peak in late summer and early fall, when ruby-throats are gearing up for migration, which includes a 500-mile trip across the Gulf of Mexico. Makes perfect sense.


  1. Hummingbirds are just gorgeous and fascinating!!
    Stopping by to follow your blog from the TOS crew blog hop!!

  2. I hopped on over from the TOS blog hop. How neat that you had such a close-up view of the hummingbirds. I'm a new follower. Looking forward to reading the rest of your series.

  3. I love, love, love hummingbirds and they totally amuse me as they dive bomb one another for a full tank of food with five feeding spots around it. There can never be more than one at a time at any of those 5 spots, and usually that one is spending half its feeding time looking around waiting for a fight. I filled the feeder on Saturday; it is now Wednesday and it is almost empty. I don't think the fluid has evaporated. Makes me sad to think they will all disappear in a month or so.

    Glad y'all are home safely. xxx

  4. Just tagged you for a homschooling meme if you're interested. I'd love to hear your answers!



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