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As I sit in a chair in my living room  facing away from the window and usually on my laptop my ears prick up to a sound  that I have come to love and look forward to in the last 3 years .  It never fails to excite and satisfy.  I tilt the screen of my laptop to see what is behind me and indeed there he is -  Boris  -  the resident year round hummingbird  grabbing a winter  nosh at the one remaining feeder.

We get a lot of humming birds in these parts  in the Spring.  There are 7 or 8 for about 2 or 3 months and I put out 5 feeders of various sizes that I’m constantly making mixture for and filling.  These little whizbangs are voracious .  They seem to settle their territorial differences with various rounds of spectacular aerial swooping displays.  That call to arms out of the way they settle in to dining – sometimes  3 or 4 on one feeder.  As the season wears on bit by bit they all disappear until  there is but one left that chooses to tough  the winter out in our cul de sac.   The aforementioned  Boris  -he of the sugar charged diet  and king of all he observes.

I look for him every  day . He has a favorite perching spot on the power line beside the pear tree. I observe him through a gap in the leaves manning his favorite 6 inch patch of electrical cable.  But I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting him even if he’s in the tree itself or in the bush beside it  I seek the little bugger out – he amazes me. 

The high octane energy and buzz of the wings- the general “I don’t care who the fuck you are, this is my turf “  feistiness  are things I greatly admire. I’ve seen a hummer harass my cat as she was trying to sun herself on the driveway.   I’ve been challenged and swooped upon as I was changing feeders.  Size Schmize- you’re in their domain  – prepare to tangle.

And the feeder. None of the nicey nicey  glass ones  with shiny new red bits –he  wouldn’t   go near them . Nope, Mr. Old School will only deign to visit the faded ancient plastic thing that I’ve had for years that threatens to fall apart every time I fill it. Great –a hummingbird sophisticate. –I am here but to serve.

 I’ve seen Boris go into a trancelike state.  He’ll actually sit at the  feeder tilt his head back and remain that way for a couple of minutes at a time.  This may be a power nap or a deep appreciation of my skillful brewing of sugar and water.  Whatever   he’s  then  off in a mighty fizz to the power line or some twig or bush to protect the rest of his kingdom.

Two weeks ago another hummer chanced upon the scene and there were fireworks.   A major Swoopapalozza ensued  with each little Napolean displaying their amazing aerobatic skills. Then at some point they both seemed to say “Screw this -  I’m hungry” and they  both settled in to lunching at the same feeder.   

So there are now 2 amazing little buzzbombs  in the neighbourhood . I’ve not named the other one  yet because it may not stick around .  If it does –Natasha is the obvious choice but I’m open to suggestions.

I love it when  are larger numbers of them around but Boris my solo hovering visitor always acutely reminds me of why I so love nature.

RD-Boxing Day 2016


The short Sooke experience

Ferried over to the Island Sat Apr 16th

Spent a lovely afternoon and night in Sooke. Walking down the hill to the water- past a building with the fantastic wall pictured above,I discovered a  board walk/wharf that stretches out along hundreds of yards of waterfront of beach -then returning to my car about a quarter mile up the hill I witnessed homeowners attempting to shoo away a river otter that was intent upon heading on to their property for what they feared would be setting up shop under their house. He was a persistent little bastard and  dashed - or rather did the otter short leg gavotte -  up around the place to much consternation.

There is a great supportive musical community in Sooke and I had a wonderful time meeting a lot of people. I even had a friend I had not since childhood turn up so -  an added wonderful surprise

After the gig driving over to a post show jam I waited patiently with several other cars as a deer took its time in the middle of the road deciding which side was a more appealing destination. These encounters are one of the many reasons why I love small towns.