Geranium Farm Home         Who's Who on the Farm         The Almost Daily eMo         Subscriptions         Coming Events
Hodgepodge         More or Less Church         Ways of the World         A Few Good Writers
Gifts For Life         Pennies From Heaven         Light a Prayer Candle         Links

THE YEARLY HOPE OF HUMMERS
May 3, 2004
 
Betty says today's the day, Genevra wrote yesterday.

Betty is the one who knows when to feed the hummingbirds. Quickly I filled a pan with four cups of water and one cup of sugar and boiled them together for ten minutes. Then I let it cool and filled some of my hummingbird feeders. For someone who's never had a hummingbird, I sure do have a lot of hummingbird feeders. I guess hope really does spring eternal.

The redbud tree in front, on which I used to hang three little globe feeders, is much taller this year. I hang one there. And one on the dogwood. And one on the old clotheline post. And one from the hook that hangs down from the roof.

As the sweet water poured through Q's little funnel into the waiting vessels, I thought of it trickling down the tiny throats. They have long beaks, and longer tongues: the beak functions as a kind of cable for the work of their tongues, opening the throat of a flower so that their tongues can extend into it and get the sweetness that hides there.

If the humingbirds don't arrive -- as they have not for these many years -- ants will crawl into the feeders and binge on sugar water. Some will drown in it, as human addicts dream of drowning in chocolate. A lesser person would consider this a failure, but not me. Ants have to eat. And birds eat ants.

In two days I will gather all the feeders and empty what's left in them, together with the ant corpses, down the drain. Then I'll make more sugar water and begin again, imagining the little birds' grateful sips. Maybe they will never come. But maybe they're here. Maybe they're drinking already, when I'm not looking. Maybe they're just shy.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  


Copyright © 2003-2018 Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.

2003-2004 Golden Web Awards Winner     2003-2004 Level 2 Diamond Web Award Winner     WorldWebWebAwards.net Humanitarian Award Winner     2004 WebAward Winner for Standard of Excellence