Sunday, July 18, 2010

ROCKS AND RUBY-THROATS

A sultry Sunday morning. Not as hot as it will be later in the day after the heat builds, but already warm enough to know it's coming. Also a possibility of scattered thunderstorms this afternoon which will only feel refreshing for a few minutes, but mostly add moisture to the already saturated air.
Yesterday, Myladylove (who has been on vacation all week) and I reworked the stones outlining the planting bed that runs alongside the cottage from the side deck to the rear corner—some thirty feet. These are big, heavy rocks, semi-boulders, several upwards of a hundred pounds, and all seemingly reluctant to be moved. Sweaty, brutish work that makes you appreciate the potential of a good mule. Mules being in rather short supply hereabouts, Myladylove and I substituted our weak and crumbling selves…and will no doubt feel the effects of our folly for days to come. We did, however, get the job done.
The day wasn't all sweaty labor, though. Two sugar-water hummingbird feeders hang only a few yards from where we worked, and the tiny ruby throats kept us constantly entertained—at times even zooming over for a close-up look at what was going on. Ruby-throats are extremely curious birds. They often hang in midair just beyond my workroom window and stare in, as if wondering what that fellow across the desk is doing. The little hummers are quite territorial, too, and don't play (or dine!) all that well with one another. There were constant chases, tail-flares, and high-speed aerial maneuverings and exchanges, all accompanied by a stream of excited mouse-like squeaking.
Nope, there's never a dull moment when the ruby-throats are around.
———————

10 comments:

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Sounds like a perfect day with you and your Lady-love. :-) We love the aerial rhythmic dance the humming birds perform in front of our picture window and they too, hover, and stare and I/we love it.
I have been struggling here tremendously with a MS setback - where strong spasticity twisted my left leg and badly injured my knee making it unable to bear weight. I am doing the best I can and praying for continued relief and healing. I am out of the crisis and beyond the acute hot intense pain and am managing the pain and numbness and swelling with heat, ice, gentle massage, some manipulation and lots of elevation of my leg. It is all quite debilitating. Skipp has been amazing, my daughter too and some dear friends all are bringing food and taking Gracey-blue out for walks. Anywho - i have rambled on way too long. Enjoy this sultry Sunday - I remain in the A/c, waiting to see who will arrive with goodies!! :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace and hope.....

George said...

Gorgeous photos, Grizz, especially the hummingbird in flight. After your grueling labor, I am surprised that you could even press the shutter, or for that matter, type this posting. It's a testament, I suppose, to your brute strength.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

We did have a good time yesterday, though I'm feeling it today.

I'm really sorry to hear of your MS problems. I've been afraid the stress of recent months—dealing with your mother, kids, and sister—that it would trigger some sort of MS issues, though perhaps this would have happened anyway. Besides, I don't know what choice you had…we have to deal with our lives, as best we can, no matter what comes along. I hope you'll get past this in short order. You are always in my prayers.

It's so good that you have friends and family to help. Friends are a treasure—not because they'll do stuff for you (which they will) but because they know and care about you, no matter what comes along—and burdens shared are always burdens halved.

Stay in the A/C and rest—and get better!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

Thank you. I'm still trying for better hummingbirds photos, but I'm under-geared…or maybe that's just my easiest excuse. Whatever, I haven't yet managed the make the photo I want, and won't be satisfied until I do—and probably not even then, truth be told.

Brute labor was about the measure of the task; brute strength was what I FORMALLY possessed—though not any more. Trust me, I know what I did yesterday…with every aching step.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wish we had rub throats Jim - they don't just look lovely they sound lovely too.
You have obviously got a treasure there with your lady love - moving rocks indeed.

Tramp said...

Grizz
I sympathize with your plight. A while ago I had to shift some large heavy concrete lintels we have in the garden. They came out when we changed the windows in our house about 13 years ago and I keep thinking I'll use them in some project or other.
I reckoned that if prehistorics Britons could get the stones for Stonehenge half way across the country then Tramp could get a couple of meagre lintels across the garden. With a lot of heaving, grunting and more than a few magic words they got shifted but for the next few days I knew all about it.
Why were these birds so interested in what you were doing? I love turning over a piece of garden with a bird hopping onto the newly-exposed earth to extract some goody. In the UK it would be a robin, here a redstart.
...Tramp

Bernie said...

Hello Grizz, sound like you and your ladylove accompolished a lot yesterday and that is a satisfying feeling. I love the humingbird, and watch them perform from my kitchen all the time. Hope you both are not too sore and enjoying this lovely Sunday...well it is here in Alberta......:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

We only have the one species of hummer here on this side of the Rockies—but they're lovely and interesting. I wish you had them, too; I know you'd love 'em. Guess it's just one more reason to visit.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Well, we're sore—but not too sore. And it's always great to see a job that needed doing, done. We could have done without the 90˚F temps, though.

Aren't hummingbirds neat!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

I've mentioned before that there are several piles of cut limestone about, and every so often I'll get the wild notion to build something with a few—a wall or walkway, whatever. Now thee aren't the natural fieldstones we were shifting yesterday, but there are blocks weighing at least several hundred pounds scattered through the mix. Whenever I get to trying to shift one of those heavyweights, I wonder how on earth my Celtic ancestors managed to do all the things with stones considerably larger. Gives you a real appreciation for the days when men were men, eh?

As to why they hummingbirds are so curious, I have no answer…but they are. They well hover and look into the cottage through various windows (not just the one at the desk) if there's someone inside, or something going on, often holding in midair for a minute or more with the tip of their beak practically touching the glass. They will investigate you the same way if you're sitting on the deck, or if I'm standing on one of the rocks fishing—zip zoom and there's a hummingbird two inches off your nose! Unnerving!