Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I saw a hummingbird for the first time this year. Sitting out back on the deck enjoying the afternoon sun, and a cocktail. The only thing to do was to get out the old feeder and make some hummingbird nectar so the little guys stay around the area. Here is the secret recipe:

2 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Water

Bring water to a boil, add sugar and continue boiling
one minute. Cool one hour and add red food coloring
if desired. Store in refrigerator.

This was a recipe given to my daughter Meg when she was around five or so by someone I worked with and his wife. As you can see, not too complicated but a proven mix that attracts the hummingbird and keeps them coming back for more.

This couple, Maynard and Patty, had just built a new log home north of Wausau deep in the woods. Today I couldn’t take you there without getting lost first but it was in an area where the next house was miles away.

We were invited there a few times and our first visit was around the beginning of June. The couple wanted to show us the house now that it was completed except for some landscaping projects. I clearly remember the incredible number of hummingbirds flying around the yard. They had feeders all over the property for hummingbirds, but also seed feeders for most other birds, so you can imagine that the air was full of every kind of Wisconsin bird. It was unbelievable to me as I am a bird nut and could spend hours patiently waiting for any kind of bird to fly up to the feeder.

So every year when the first hummingbird is spotted I think of them and the “swarm” of hummingbirds that they could enjoy on a regular basis. Me, I am just glad to have one set flying within the airspace of my yard here in a small town in central Wisconsin. The small creature adds beauty and grace to an afternoon of enjoying the warm sun, family and the lens of my camera.

Reminds me of a poem I had written a few years back entitled “Hummingbird” which ties the frantic-like search they have for food and our need we have for relationships and love in our lives as if it were food we frantically needed.


The sun shone today,
leaving a ray of hope on the pillow,
caressed gently by the warm breeze,
I pretend to sleep.

Lying here next to you,
I listen, hearing your shallow breath—
content to watch an angel
slowly emerge from secret dreams.

In the distance outside,
past the blue faded window sill,
surrounded by the bloom of the honeysuckle
I hear the hummingbirds dance.

Thirsting for the sweet taste
of a nectar reserved for them—
attracted by the color and scent,
longing for the reward it seeks.

Their beating wings give away the secret,
the intent of their longing desire,
never to tire in the search,
until it has tasted them all.

Laying silently, as if lifeless
a man hoping to believe it has become real,
searching for the reasons why we try,
not understanding this wall we’ve built.

A westerly wind whistles through the screen
moving sheer curtains as waves of the sea.
And as I pray for the sun to continue to shine,
I hear the distant rolling of the thunder.

To end this blog I just have to include the writing on the back of the recipe card that I almost forgot was there. The card was specifically meant for my daughter and the couple thought it necessary to include any insight that would help in the hummingbird world. Here’s what they wrote:

“First time in spring (usually they come back 2nd week of May)
make stronger using 2 cups of sugar - 2 cups of water
to attract them. If you feed them the strong stuff all the time they
may develop diabetes, then their eyesight goes and they fly into
stuff and act hyper…kind of like your Dad”.

So now is the time to get that hummingbird feeder out along with any other bird feeder you have yet to fill and enjoy our feathered friends.

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