Hummingbirds and Groundhogs

I hope this blog will be a kind of conversation between us, Dear Reader. I spend a great deal of time by myself, in my library, looking out the window into the garden, and thinking up reasons why I shouldn’t get down to work, which at the moment is a novel set in 7th c. Britain (more on that in future blogs). Which means I think it might be nice to have someone to chat with, now and again. We’ll see how it goes, shall we?

For today, let this be an mere opening gambit, to see if there’s anyone out there.

This morning began with Mrs. Grumpy, the rather large and aptly-named groundhog, making a visit, grumbling along, nibbling grass, and now the ruby-thoated hummingbirds (archilochus colubris)are back. This in and of itself is enough reason not to work for another half hour or so. The male has that splendid ruby gorget, but both male and female wear sparkling green iridescent coats (so often the female of the species is left with a dowdy frock). These are the only hummingbirds we get in New Jersey with any regularity, although I am told others will stray in. Such tiny things, and with such energy. They are highly territorial, and I spend considerable time watching them dive-bomb much larger birds — even jays and grackles — who infringe, the Jack Russell terriers of the bird world.

Photograph by Robert Lubeck

All that energetic determination and haste — if one is to be inspired by nature, it can only mean it’s time for me to get to work.

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