Monday, September 15, 2008

No larks or owls, here...!

These are definitely hummers. Ruby-throated hummingbirds, the only member of that colorful genera here in the Carolinas. Thought I'd share a few snaps from Saturday with you of the female (first two pics) and the buttheaded male (last 3)...

70 wing beats a second. 1,000 heart beats a minute. They need a constant supply of energy (maybe that's my problem, trying to live and eat like a hummingbird!). They weigh less than a nickel, most around 3-4 grams.

For such a small and lightweight bird, it has a curious and keen intellect, and a memory that defies full-understanding...they know exactly where particular flowers are and how long it takes for them to recharge their nectar drop, and can return year after year to the same location and not miss a beat...literally and figuratively...

Now, I probably unfairly called the male a butthead up top, but he really is a tenacious bugger, highly territorial and protective of his sugary booty. Lots of hummers around, but he is forever on alert to chase away anyone except for the females that have let him mate with them.

Often times he'll just sit on the feeder with his head up looking all around for the next hopefully-opportunistic hummer to make a dash for a quick sip...and by the looks of this one male, it ain't happening any time soon.

Just fun and relaxing to sit and watch their antics, watching them in awe as they move with rapid precision bursts to immediate stalls, to moving in any direction at the blink of an eye. And that 'hummer talk' they do...in the spring that's how I know they're back, as I hear their high-pitched chattering before ever laying eyes on 'em...

---------------------------------------

Were not gas prices STUPID last Friday and Saturday???? Whether it's the stations or the distributors, somebody was getting greedy in an ugly way, as the situation far exceeded supply and demand principles. Thankfully the NC Attorney General stepped in to put some muscle to stop the gouging that was going on.

However, the more 'scary' part was seeing the number of places closed because they were out of gas. It was as if the suppliers held back on their delivery runs with Ike growing in the Gulf, to help create their own perfect (profit) storms. I'm all for making money fairly, but I'm not for taking advantage of others out of greed because someone can. And it's a topic we never seem to get to the bottom of, the ultimate truth behind that part of the oil industry.

-----------------------------------------

Fairly quiet week ahead with cooler temperatures. Looking forward to the fall colors, myself, as I always do. And while I love aspects of all seasons and times of year, the fall is one that has rich memories etched in my head from childhood. Bring it!

1 comment:

Bill said...

Great shots of these hummingbirds. You must have used a very fast shutter speed to virtually stop their wings in motion. The picture of the male on the feeder with his wings over his head looks like Michael Phelps preparing to do a back flip off the board! I'm glad your cleared up the male "butthead" comment:)
Bill