I just spent the morning blogging for Broadsheet, but what I really wanted to be writing about was not feminism, but hummingbirds. See, because thanks to Peter's weekend efforts, we now have not one, not two, but (I think) four hummingbird feeders hanging on various eaves around the house. And I'm worried about our influence.
It took the hummingbirds a long time to find our first feeder -- they would flutter around the jasmine and lavender blossoms and ignore the the feeder hanging just several feet beyond their natural reach. In doing so, they were continuing their work as pollinators, stepping in to fill the role of those mysteriously disappearing bees and keeping nature's magical homeostasis in working order. But, the thing is, they were really hard to see.
So imagine our delight when we saw the first hummingbird at the kitchen feeder. At first it seemed to think its discovery was too good to be true -- it would hover, take a sip of the sweet, sweet sugar water, and flit off to real blossom to drink some actual nectar -- only to find itself inexplicably pulled back to those huge red plastic flowers that just tasted SO FUCKING GOOD. A few days later, we saw the same hummingbird -- except that instead of nervously flitting around the feeder and darting off, it was now sitting on the edge of the feeder, drinking. It didn't seem to care when I walked up to the sink and stared at it from three feet. Just kept sipping. I'm no ornithologist, but I didn't think hummingbirds were known for their abilities to chillaxinate.
Anyway, we just put a feeder up on the front porch this weekend and they've found it already. Something about this seemed wrong to me, but I tried my best to reframe: maybe our new feeder was essentially a franchise of a successful restaurant -- you know, like we've got Chez Panisse out back and this is the new Cafe. We had good reviews on Yelp. The people love us. What can you do?
But I watched another hummingbird out there this morning, and it seems a little less like we're running a restaurant and more like we've opened a crack house. There was a different bird out there, also sitting, taking big swigs of sugar water as if it were an alcoholic nursing a bottle. I counted as it took at least ten hits before another hummingbird flew up, attacked the guy drinking, and they both flew away, chirping angrily. I think it's the start of turf wars.
This is the blog for Salt Magazine.