Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hummingbirds are Exciting

Hummingbirds are Exciting

There is something particularly special about hummingbirds. They are so small yet full of such energy. And sometimes surprises.

I was sitting out back the other day watching them flit back and forth from the feeder, their wings stirring the air as they hovered. Then one of the hummers came directly in front me, fluttering about a foot away. I was astounded! I spoke to it as it hung there, thanking it for coming over to say hello. I thought my voice might have scared it away but it remained. Was it listening? Was it checking me out, trying to see if I was an adversary? It stayed there for a full minute then sped off into the tree behind me. It soon returned to the feeder and proceeded to chow down, ignoring me completely.

I couldn’t stop talking about the experience to anyone who would listen. My sister said that when she was in Florida there were many hummingbirds and they were quite friendly. I wondered if this was just a young one who was exploring its environment but whatever the reason, I was infinitely pleased.

Sometimes nature presents us with large, demanding challenges like earthquakes or snowstorms or droughts. Sometimes, in our often-turbulent world, it offers the tiniest, delightful possibilities for us to reflect on and appreciate.

Facts and encouragement:

Check out the hummingbird stories:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Poor Oak Trees

Poor Oak Trees

I’m feeling kind of sad about my oak tree. It has been gracing our house at the curb for almost forty years, supplying acorns for the squirrels, a fine nesting place for the birds, shade on hot summer days, and lovely, graceful leaves for atmosphere. This summer it is having troubles. Some of its branches are bare and on those that still have greenery, the leaves are not as abundant as they had been in the past. I wonder if the poor tree will last through the winter.

We go for walks every night after dinner when the heat of the day starts to mellow and we are noticing that many oak trees in our development are showing the same kinds of symptoms. There are woodpeckers in the area and sapsuckers are known to “bleed” a tree to get the sap, which harms the tree. Is there an oak tree disease ravaging these beauties? But then, their environment may be the problem. They were planted in a confined space. Their roots are reaching out desperately for somewhere to grow, raising concrete slabs, sending roots out along the curbside seeking nourishment. Or is it Oak Wilt? Photos from various botanical gardens seem to suggest that it is. My heart aches for the trees I see with receding growth as I learned that it is usually fatal.

There is a time for everything to flourish, I guess, and then to draw away. It’s hard to accept that sometimes that withdrawal is hastened; the oaks should last longer than this. Nature is a continuum of growth and loss. We can delay the process now and then but there is a time for it all. Perhaps our appreciation of what we have is the best way to understand the cycle – and to live life fully.

About Oak Wilt:

Beautiful oak trees in their prime:;_ylt=A0LEVyNeoMtVZZ4AuKtXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyczg3amEwBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjAwMjdfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Beautiful+Oak+Trees&fr=chrf-yff34