Mexican life

My first hummer

In memory of Jack Brock.

FOR A FEW years, since I purchased my Canon, whenever I sat on the Jesus Patio to read my Kindle, I always toted the camera and rested it on the glass-top table.

One might wonder, Why does he do that? The answer is this: I wanted a photo of a hummer. Though the little buggers are commonplace in the Hacienda yard, photographing one has proved impossible. Till yesterday, that is.

The midday was overcast. Perhaps that explains my little friend’s relative lack of shimmering color, something often seen in hummer photos. Or maybe he’s a she and, like many birds, perhaps the hummer ladies are a bit drabber.

He (or she) is puffed up a bit too, a nippy afternoon.

No matter. Like Hemingway kneeling beside an African rhino, high-powered rifle aimed skyward, I have shot my prey. There will be no more safaris. I will read my books in peace.

Life goes on.

18 thoughts on “My first hummer

  1. Yesterday was a good day for birdwatching all around. I had a rare sighting of a painted bunting up here. Unlike you, I was not prepared and have no photo to share. One just has to take my word for it. You’re quite the photographer.

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    1. Bev: Thanks! But this one was pretty easy. And it was luck. And it happened in spite of my laziness. I didn’t even get up out of my chair. I shot about 10 photos, but this is the only good one. Painted bunting, eh? That’s about as good as it gets. I’ve only seen one, ever. It was outside a vacation cabin my second wife and I were renting around 1990 in Vanderpool, Texas.

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  2. I saw a hummer just three feet away this morning getting a drink of hibiscus nectar. I think we were both shocked for being so close before it skedaddled.

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    1. Andrés: They are feisty birds, especially with each other. I have them come up and stare me in the face, not rare. As luck would have it, I never have my camera when it happens.

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  3. Great photo, Felipe! I think you did OK on the color, since the vibrant hummer colors are due to sunlight refracting through the feathers, not due to any great color in the feathers themselves. They occasionally fly into my front porch and I have to catch and release them outside. They are amazing little creatures!

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    1. Pablo: As I mentioned in the post, it was an overcast day, so the lack of sunlight would explain, at least in part, the lack of what we normally expect of hummers. And, yes, they are amazing critters. Once I went to a place in southeast Arizona, in your neck of the American woods, where hummers were sitting on trees and flying around in incredible numbers. It was quite a sight. Unusual too because they normally detest each other.

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  4. Good thing to concentrate on the backyard fauna and take a break from political manifestos. The trick now will be to photograph one in flight; their wings go like crazy and I don’t know you could freeze that at even 1/1000/sec. As Pablo mentioned you need also to look at these little buggers from different angles. There’s one called the Magnificent Hummingbird http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/magnificent-hummingbird that doesn’t look so great until you catch it in the right sunlight and his breast turns into a shade or irridescent green. A friend had a hummer nest in his backyard and the eggs are about the size of beans. Cool birds.

    al

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    1. Señor Lanier: I think my hummer photography quest is over. Actually, yesterday, I did catch that same bird in flight. His wings looked almost invisible due to the movement, but there were problems with the photo, so I decided to just go with this one showing his (or her) cocky attitude.

      When the leaves fell off a smallish fruit tree in my yard last winter, I found a hummer nest hiding in there.

      As for political manifestos (I salute you for not saying “rant.”), if you read the “Felipe” page hereabouts, you will see that it’s part of the Moon mission statement, i.e. politics. This is not just a blog about Mexican life.

      Speaking of which, gotta good one in the chute for mañana. Stay tuned! Be enlightened! See the error of your collectivist ways!

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      1. In your next trumpet blast from Patzcuaro be sure to include a sentence or two about why the Trump is trying to throw Jeff Sessions under the bus. Someone ought to explain to him that loyalty flows both ways. This thing has got me feeling a little sorry for Sessions. Fancy that.

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  5. I have three feeders in our backyard area, one hung just outside a bedroom window, and while we don’t have hordes of them the ones I see are very entertaining. We feed seeds to other small songbirds and right outside the window I see many different types of them up close and in color.

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    1. Carole: My last wife and I had owned our Houston home for five or six years — during which I rarely, if ever, spotted a hummer — before I hung a hummingbird feeder. Boy, did that make a difference! But only part of the year — I forget which part — but it was migration time.

      Down here I see them pretty much year-round.

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      1. Warmer season, likely. When we were in Belize at a jungle lodge environment, there were feeders on the lodge building and there were literally hordes there which would have been US winter months.

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  6. shimmering or not, that is an absolutely beautiful pic. you could use it in a calendar and call it, felipe’s feathery friends.

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  7. Great shot. I’m envious, though. In our neighborhood, there are plenty of hummers, but I’ve only once seen one at the feeder that sits, lonely, in the back yard.

    At the hotel where I used to stay in CDMX, there was a nice garden festooned with both hummingbird feeders and their intended beneficiaries. Having a drink out there is always fun.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where the hummers are humming elsewhere.

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