Hummingbird darts lightly through the world, spreading its message of joy and beauty, and teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of everyday existence. Hummingbird brings the gift of joy. Learn to laugh and be happy.– Unknown Quotes
Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.—Doug Coupland
Map Courtesy Birds of North America
We’ve made the final transition north to our camp and studio on the border of Canada and Maine, where we will spend the next four months. I awoke this morning to the sound of humming outside my window, where we’ve suspended a glass feeder filled with sugar water. A tiny, darting, ruby-throated hummingbird was hovering in place, sipping away. It’s always astonishing to me to find these tiny, jeweled-tone creatures so far north. These brilliantly hued birds, are acrobats of the sky. Precision flyers, they zoom through the air, searching my gardens for nectar. Beating their wings up to 80 beats a minute (try it!), they fly forward, diagonally, hover and are the only bird that can fly backwards.
But what amazes me even more is how far these tiny travelers go to get here. Hummingbirds have a long history in legends, representing<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> symbols ranging from joyful enthusiasm to the power of resiliency. By early fall, they fly solo to the coast of Southwestern US, a distance over 2000 miles. Here, they will gather in large groups and then in a single movement cross another 500 miles. over the Gulf of Mexico to reach their Winter home. What’s even more startling, is that scientists don’t know how they find their way. Lone travelers, no one has ever taught them the route.
After too many days of listening to heartbreaking news on the radio, I often find solace upon reflection of the simple wonders in our natural world. In the presence of hummingbirds, I can only marvel at the miracle of these extraordinary creatures. Waking to see one at my window, is a gift I will carry with me all day.