The hummingbirds have left.

They left on a day I was not home.

Maybe they thought it would be easier on me.

It was not……..

I miss them.

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A week after they left, a stray female showed up at the feeder. I hadn’t removed it, just in case. So yesterday, I made new syrup for the feeder, hung it up, and my hand was still on the bottle, when a hummingbird buzzed in for a sip! I don’t know if she is from my original crew, or just someone passing thru on her southern migration.

A friend on mine in the next town, still has hordes of hummingbirds scrapping over her feeders. That is their usual activity, when it is nearing the time to move on. So, I guess last Saturday was the time for my bunch to start the trek south.

I wish I had been home, altho’ I could tell they were getting ready. My regulars would follow me to the garden, and buzz around like giant bees. At times, they would perch, just above my head – one of the few times I ever saw their frantic wings at rest- and just watch me in the garden.

I worry about the last traveler, still hanging around at the feeder, but I hate to take the feeder down-she will need that extra sustenance for that long journey to South America.

I will miss them, and already have my next year’s calendar marked for their return!!

As soon as the hummingbirds left, some new entertainment arrived! Under the hummingbird feeder is a large patch of coneflowers.

An exuberant  “ti DEE di di” drew me to the window- and there was a vibrant male goldfinch balancing on the top flower. He stayed for an hour at a stretch, feasting on the  seeds. The goldfinches are now regular visitors. The window screen blurs his brilliance- but he fills in the blank  left by the hummingbirds’ absence.

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The other day, as I drove down the driveway, a massive bird in an old dead tree caught my eye. I ran in the house to get the binoculars and my camera. The neighbors have mentioned an eagle nest in the area. The property owner where the nest is, is very secretive of its exact whereabouts. Apparently, out here in the boonies, there are those who would shoot any thing that flies.

I think, the large bird in the tree, might have been a juvenile eagle. More likely a bald eagle than a golden, since a bald eagle is what has the nest nearby.  I could not get close enough, in the glare of the sun, to be able to tell for sure. He flew off, and is definitely larger than our resident hawks! I wasn’t able to get a good picture- (I definitely need a better camera!)

Juvenile eagle?

Juvenile eagle?

One of the larger hawks flew brazenly by us last night- low to the ground and within 6 feet of us and our dogs. This one is one of a pair of pole sitters, who hang out in the horse paddocks on a fence post, or on the telephone wires, waiting for dinner to scurry by in the tall grass! Another reason , if we ever get chickens, for a very secure, fenced in coop!

My favorite photo of all time- and one I have been trying for years to get- is the white heron. We have several blue herons who hang out at the river and soar over in the evenings, like prehistoric pterodactyls. I have never been successful in photographing them. As quiet as I can be, there is no sneaking up on them at the river. They are off before I can even focus the camera.

A week or so ago, while leaving a neighbor’s house, there in the trees, at the edge of the road, was a white heron!!! We stopped, backed the truck up, and altho he eyed us leerily, he did not move. I got my picture!!!! Woohoo!!!

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Our winged residents are a never ending source of wonder.

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All is well, peaceful and cloudy, at Mountain Meadows this Sunday  morning.

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