This is a female Calypte Anna (Anna's Hummingbird) on my feeder. Note that she is unadorned and quite simple in her understated feathering:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Below is the hummie that thinks he owns my feeders. I have nicknamed him "Kami".

Yes, there IS a bird in the tree.

That is where he sits and watches the feeders. He will dive bomb them if they come anywhere near the feeders or the hibiscus.

Damn bird.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This close-up of Kami sitting in the tree shows his gorgeous raspberry color neck.

Yes, he is a pain in the birdie-butt but he is one stunning creature!

[11:58pm MST] [Permalink]


Sunday mornings, quite early, I usually do grocery shopping.

On my way home I stop and fill up the car with gas.

Routine. Is. Good.

This morning as I am heading towards the gas station, I look to the large sign to see what body part I am going to have to sell to afford a tank of gas ...

... lo, and behold ... the gas has come down to $4.09 a gallon!

Last Sunday, at the same station, I paid $4.29.

I was thrilled.

Standing there, nozzle in hand, I began to laugh.

How ludicrous: I am actually feeling giddy and somewhat smug because I am paying .20 less per gallon.

If it goes down below $4.00 ... I just might strip naked and do a hootchie-la-cootchie dance right there at the QuikTrip!

[08:40am MST] [Permalink]


This morning, about 6:45am, I am driving to Sam's Club to pick-up a few things before the workday begins and before the temps go up to the forecasted 114°.

My pager went off (yes, I am one of those ol' timers who still carries a pager) so I pulled over in a parking lot and found a shady spot under a tree to park to make the phone call.

While sitting there speaking with my client, I notice (in my car's sideview mirror) an extremely handsome man walking up the sidewalk carrying a small briefcase.

He is wearing the casual Friday requisite khaki dress slacks, a long-sleeve light blue button-down dress shirt and nice leather loafers.

As he walked passed my car (and making no notice of my car or me), I thought to myself, "Geez, he's gotta be hot in those long sleeves."

Not ten seconds after that thought crossed my mind, the guy lifts one arm, sniffs his armpit ... lifts the other arm, sniffs that armpit and continues on.

Needless to say, the "extremely handsome man" spell was broken.

- - - - - - - - - -

Meanwhile, it is "Take Your Dog To Work Day".

Oh, how I wish I had a dog to take to work.

But then again, my clients might frown upon me showing up with a Fido in tow, eh?

[10:40am MST] [Permalink]


Yesterday, just before noon, while driving in north central Phoenix ... I passed one of those bank signs that shows the digital time and temperature. The sign itself was shiney black and located in the direct sunlight.

Time: 11:40am

Temperature: 117°

That afternoon, speaking by telephone with a client in the Pacific Northwest, I mentioned that I am having trouble adjusting to the heat.

They laughed.

I guess that statement does sound a bit ridiculous, eh?

After all, how does one adjust to 113° on your deck ... in the shade?

It is going to be a long, hot summer.


[11:00am MST] [Permalink]


The third feeder did not inspire "Kami" to play nice.

He still sits in the trees and terrorizes hummers that come near his feeders.

Yes, HIS feeders.

If I stand near them ... Kami will fly up to my face and hover within inches of my nose and berate me with chirps.

He has taken ownership.

Meanwhile, the display of multiple feeders has been noticed by the neighbors.

One morning, a few weeks ago, on a day that it actually had been raining with strong incessant winds ... there is a knock on my door.

I open the door to find a neighbor/friend standing before me with his hands held together like he is holding "precious cargo".

"Okay Ray, whatcha got?" I ask.

"A baby hummingbird," he replies.

"No! Really?"

"Yes. Really."

There ... inside his hand cave ... was the tiniest, sweetest little creature peering out at me.

"I brought it to you because I figured you would know how to care for it."

Huh? I guess being the proud owner of three rather jazzy hummingbird feeders now makes me the neighborhood expert.

I accept the bird and the tiny thing is so small, there is literally no weight of it in my hand. I can see it sitting there on my hand and can feel its tiny claws on my skin, but a whisper in the ear has more surface pressure than this wee little angel.

It chirps.

Now what do I do? I put the baby bird in a small food storage bowl with a lining of soft facial tissue. I mix up a nectar of sugar and water and realize that I have nothing small enough to feed it with.


I dip my little fingernail into the juice. Holding up what now appears to be my "giant lumbering hand" above this wee creature, I actually feed it from a nectar droplet trickling off my nail.


Chirp. Chirp.

I realize I am sooo out of my element here and off I go to Google what to do next.

Through a series of phone calls, I find that North Phoenix actually has a woman who does hummingbird rescue. She is a certified and licensed rehabilitator.

Baby bird and I get in the car and head north on the parkway.

She is waiting for us.

She was prepared for us with a small, clean cage lined with white paper and equipped with a tiny twig. With her latex gloved hand, she handles the birdie like it is made of steel whereas I was treating it like fine porcelain.

The bird immediately responds to her touch. She whips out an IV bag and some mixture of stuff and begins to prepare a syringe for feeding.

I am satisfied. She is a professional and knows what she is doing.

I fill out the requisite paperwork, donate some cash, grab her business card and head to my car.

Driving home in the sprinkling rain, I realize I am crying.

I have been blessed with a miracle: I have held a baby hummingbird and let it drink from my hand.

As long as I have eaves to hang them from, I will always have hummingbird feeders.

- - -

POSTSCRIPT: Two weeks later, I telephoned the hummingbird rescuer. She told me that my bird, a girlie hummer, is doing well and will be ready to fly out on her own soon.

[02:45pm MST] [Permalink]


So, yes ... I added a second hummingbird feeder.

That is when all the trouble began.

Let me preface by stating that the majority of homes in my area have feeders. Hibiscus and various heat loving flowers are blooming. In the wee hours of dawn, you can hear the automatic sprinkler systems come to life to bring water to the parched plants and soil ... leaving droplets of moisture on the garden leaves.

It is hummingbird heaven.

However, even with the bounty of food before them ... I have territorial, aggressive hummers who have laid claim to my feeders.

Damn birds!

Actually, it started with one kamikaze bird, a Calypte Anna ... or Anna's Hummingbird.

"Kami" will sit for hours just watching my feeders. Should any unsuspecting birdlette come to grab some chow ... zap! He dive bombs at them while emitting an angry cacophony of hummingbird chirps.

I keep telling him he is a "naughty bird" and to stop being so selfish ... but alas, my kids do not listen to me.

While he is a terror to the bird neighborhood, he is beautiful. His head is raspberry red with a black collar. His body is silver grey.

In spite of his glorious appearance, I just cannot convince him to stay still long enough for me to photograph him.

So what do I do?

Uh huh ... you guessed it: I added another feeder.

The story continues.

[02:00pm MST] [Permalink]


I am easily influenced. No, not on major subjects such as politics, religion, money .... um, sex ... or healthcare.

Yes, I can be led merrily down the lane when it comes to the adorable. Provided the adorable do not require clean nappies and/or litterbox changing. Or both.

Due to the influence of others, last summer I succumbed to the notion of hanging a hummingbird feeder.

Oh, how I fretted when no wee hummers came to visit. I sat for hours watching the feeder ... and watching the hummers fly only 30 feet away to gorge themselves on the bottle of sweet elixir hanging from my neighbor's eaves.

Damn creatures, why dost thou tease and torture me?

Finally, with great expectations and equaled excitement, my first bird visited.

I was ecstatic. Elated. Energized. And every other "e" adjective that can possibly be wrapped around a grown woman doing the happy dance because a hummingbird drank from her feeder.

Thus, the saga began.

Reading online tomes about hummingbird habits, varieties of species, migration patterns.

Like the fluttering fairy at my feeder ... I drank in the nectar of information.

I experimented with different prepared juices with great names like "Perky Pet" and "Nature's Own".

Those had to be delicious to my feathered friends ... no?

After all, the feeders become stunning crimson filled orbs glistening like rubies in the bright Arizona sunlight.

Scientifically created juices with labels that claim that the vitamins and minerals contained therein would add to the overall health of my flighted visitors ... and would metabolize like the sugars the hummingbirds derive from floral nectar.

Basically, my birds poo-poo'd the red, commercial preparations.

My birds are not gourmands. They prefer the water and white sugar juice, hands down. Perhaps that should be "feet down".

My birds are simple folk.

Of course, I added another feeder.

The story continues.

[09:00am MST] [Permalink]


I have been away from publicly writing anything for almost half a year. Geez, when I write "half a year" ... it sounds like an eternity, no?

Alas, my muse has been reawakened to some degree and lately ... almost daily ... I find myself thinking that I should write about whatever is happening at the moment.

Should I?

Does anyone visit here anymore?

Lemme know what YOU think. Talk to me.

[03:05pm MST] [Permalink]

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