Thursday, September 25, 2014


A hummingbird fought against itself, fluttering about near the ceiling of our garage. A small area where plaster has fallen looked like a window as she moved about in a panic, exhausting herself, trying to escape. The garage door was wide open.

Light flowing in through two windows may have confused her, as well as the light brown patch that seemed to draw her attention as much as anything else. Her tunnel vision was to hug the ceiling. Seemed safer up there where the unknown couldn’t slink along, catching her by surprise. It’s a common reaction for people. But birds, if they survive, have built-in instinct to protect. Like the inner voice we often ignore, or over time lose the ability to distinguish between its good or a voice of evil.

She kept flying above the opening and resting on the chain drive for the garage opener. This took away the option of lowering the door and raising it back because that was her place to rest and regroup. After a time of watching the same pattern repeated I grabbed a broom and tried to gently direct her in the path of safety, but she resisted, and finally landed on a window sill, about six feet off the floor, completely exhausted and with no more fight left.

I haven’t photographed a single hummingbird this year, but I had an opportunity to touch this one, as her exhausted body didn’t resist. I gently picked her up and walked outside through the open garage door. Looking around for the part-time feral cat that sometimes uses our yard as a hunting ground, I found an old bird bath with a top over it that seemed safe, and put her down carefully. I stroked her green body with one finger and then backed off as she summoned all her strength and flew upward long enough to reach a tree branch that was close to the height of our garage ceiling.

Hopefully she survived the ordeal. I checked later and her perch was empty, with no trace down below of the beautiful creature. I’m hoping she just needed a helping hand and a little direction. I’ll write the final chapter that way.

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