Tuesday, September 13

Close Encounters

Setting aside the ground bees and the skunk for a minute, I have had some rather pleasant encounters with wildlife lately.

Bunnies, chipmunks and all kinds of birds have been more daring in their proximity to me when i am out in the yard, to the point where I actually get to observe them for a while.

Mr. Woodchuck is ever-present, munching on grass and doesn't let the smallest noise send him into a panic of juggling fur on the rush back to the woodpile. And he ventures father out into the yard to get the good grass.

One of the most interesting is the gray heron that has not taken flight when i approach on my last two sightings of him. And while working a little in the garden the other day, he flew so low over me that I could see all his beautiful feathers and hear the wind being pumped under his massive wings.

The other incident that was just cool in general was also bird-related. I was hanging up the laundry when a beautiful green hummingbird came swooping in to the bee balm plant to get the last bit of food from the last few fading flowers. I never realized how loud hummingbirds are - like very over sized bees. He left the bee balm and came right at me, stopping about 3 feet from my face and he hovered there staring at me. I thought it would only last for a second or two but he stayed there, hovering, for almost a minute. I just stood still and let him stare. Then he took off again and headed for the butterfly bush. I watched him, thinking about what a neat experience that was, and I kept watching him as he left the butterfly bush and headed right back at me - again! He did the same thing - hovering and staring - for about 30 seconds, and then he was gone around the side of the house.

Just call me the hummingbird whisperer.

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