Sunday, June 21, 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 3

Hallelujah! I shot a hummingbird! My prize of the day: a clear shot of a female black-chinned hummingbird.

White butterflies wobble like tissue caught in a breeze; dragonflies zip past with iridescent wings; and swallowtails flutter like elegant breeze dancers. Amidst these dainty flyers, I seek the buzz of hummingbird wings.

My first hummingbird encounter on Elmira Pond took place two summers ago when one mistook my hot pink t-shirt for a large flower. I had binoculars scoped on the pond as I sat beneath the apple tree. A persistent buzzing at my right ear made me think it was a bee and casually I would swat at the sound. Finally, I put down the binoculars to be face-to-face with a hummingbird!

Often I catch them buzzing about and when the apple tree was in full blossom this past May, several hung out as if it were a favorite pub. They sipped apple blossom nectar and I identified three different kinds: black-chinned, red-throated and calliope.

For so long, I've wanted a photograph. I've learned what they like -- hairy vetch blossoms, radish blooms, colorful perennials. I also bought a feeder which they've drained three times in two months. I catch glimpses and snap blurry shots as they flee my camera lens.

Today I was determined. After watering, I sat beneath the spruce tree by my gardens and waited with camera, cat and coffee. Todd walked out onto the porch and I tried to shoo him away. After weeding and planting more beets (because one can never have too many beets), I sat again in the shade of the spruce, drinking cold water. Todd got his camera and joined me.

Then he got bored. I watched wispy white clouds pass overhead. I listened to the steady strum of summer traffic on Hwy. 95. I spotted a chipping sparrow in a tall pine. Bootsy sat companionably beneath my chair. I saw a black and white dragonfly. And then I heard the buzz of wings.

Snap, snap, snap! She posed, drank and left. At last, I have her in pixels. My hummingbird patience paid off.

This is Day 3 of a photo and story challenge from Norah Colvin. Today I nominate author and poet, Susan Zutautas, to take up the challenge if she is so obliged to participate.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!


  1. Oh Charli. I was aghast - that was my immediate reaction to your first statement. Then I realised you meant with a camera. Whew!
    The beauty of your language, of your descriptions is just wonderful; the imagery so perfect "butterflies wobble like tissue caught in a breeze": gorgeous!
    I'm so pleased your patience knows no bounds - this photo was definitely worth the wait. Thank you for sharing it with us. And three types of hummingbirds! I didn't know that. When I was a child we had a book about birds. My favourite photo from the book is of a hummingbird. It is difficult to believe how beautiful and how small they are. When Bec visited the States a couple of years ago she brought back for me a paper picture of a hummingbird (can't think what the technique is called at the moment). It is beautiful.

  2. Ha, ha! That's my quirky joke -- I tell the Hub I'm "hunting hummingbirds." I don't think those little buzzers would tolerate any other kind of shooting! Those white butterflies almost look as though the need help flying. :-) I visited Tuscon, Arizona in June one year and the cacti were in full bloom and I was amazed to see so many hummingbirds! I would have thought I had one type but my children are good at identifying and I've now seen three of the four that populate this area. To think they travel back and forth as far south as South America, and north into Canada is remarkable. But they are speedy! Your picture must be gorgeous.

  3. Gorgeous shot! And you've reminded me we haven't put our hummingbird feeder up yet. Haha! Your shirt. That must have been quite the meeting. We took down a decoration of a sunburst because the inner circle was clear red glass and hummingbirds constantly tried to eat (drink) it. I felt badly for the little things and just took it down.