The frigging hummingbirds were going to freeze to death and I would have to watch. I hate it when that happens. For whatever reason, migrating hummingbirds were passing through the mountains awfully late, and the feeders I’d left up were getting traffic almost day throughout October. Now the things were all but empty and the forecast called for snow, but either no one told the birds or they just felt like being reckless. Either way, I had no choice and used the rest of the sugar water in the fridge to put at least a little in each of our six hummingbird feeders. I’m glad I did: as I write this on November 8, I’ve seen hummers every day since then, even after overnight lows around twenty degrees (minus seven, C). The shot above was taken through the window during a long snow shower the other day. Since then it’s dried out and the sky is clear, but it’s still cold.
Someone responded to a similar photo I tweeted and said, “You’re the last Texico.” I figure that’s a typo, since “Texaco” makes more sense if you’re old enough to remember “You can always trust your car to the man who wears the star,” and “Last Chance Texaco” is a well-known Rickie Lee Jones song, but there’s also a Texico, New Mexico, as improbable and fun to say as that may be, which also works, so who am I to judge. Today is at least a month later than when I would usually see hummingbirds here at seven thousand feet, anyway, and that is very weird.
Oh, I hope the little birds will fly south and be o.k. Last year ours (rubythroats) left late, too. Not THIS late! This year they departed on time. We had many more than usual, and that created many chase scenes and aerial dogfights. They are so fierce and tiny and pugnacious. Ours fly to Mexico and I worry a lot about them, but some always return in the spring. It’s like a miracle. I wish yours godspeed.