Hummingbird Holy Grail?

July 11, 2009 072 (2)
Ah! Sweet mystery of life
At last I’ve found thee
Ah! I know at last the secret of it all;
All the longing, seeking, striving, waiting, yearning
The burning hopes, the joy and idle tears that fall! *

July 11, 2009 065 (2)
Dear Readers,
Please allow a story to be told, one that is both happy and bittersweet.

July 12, 2009 007 (2)
It all began on an unseasonably cooler summer afternoon. The sun had passed over the multi trunk silver maple tree and was setting under the row of river birches that line the western property line of the Fairegarden. The chores on the daily list had been completed. Dinner had been planned and the ingredients assembled. The old camera, Canon Powershot A720 was in tow because earlier in the day the first Eastern swallowtail butterfly had been spotted, fluttering around the Buddleia ‘Potters Purple’. The flutterbys had been missing in action from the garden planted for their delight so far this season. Our heart rose at the thought of their return.

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There is a blue chair, borrowed from the patio set that sits on the lower deck, positioned at the end of the ramp that leads to the upper garage deck. The railings hide the occupant slightly for better snapping of images of the butterflies as they make their nectar gathering rounds on the flower heads. It is our favorite resting place after the sun has moved across the sky enough to shade the area. We sat in that chair, camera turned on and waited for the yellow and black flying flower to meander our way.

July 12, 2009 002 (2)
Suddenly, very suddenly we were startled by the throbbing wings of our resident hummingbird hovering eye to eye with us about one foot away from the blue chair. Paralyzed in brain and body the thought raced through the synapses, if we only had our camera. The light bulb did finally illuminate and the camera was raised, the shutter button pushed without lining up the LCD screen, hoping the bird would be in the shot. It flew away as soon as we moved but was captured in the image. We were excited but disappointed that the thought process did not operate fast enough to get the image of the staring contest between bird and human. It had hovered there for what seemed an eternity, the moment for which we had been waiting forever.
Let us back up a bit. There is a hummingbird feeder hanging just outside the glass sliders in the addition that joins the main house and the garage. We sit in the lazyboy facing out to the back garden with the laptop on its pillow padded lapdesk by the hour. Hummingbirds visit the feeder several times an hour, all day long, rain or shine. Sometimes they hover at the glass, looking inside for several seconds. Do they see me sitting there, one wonders. While working in the garden, almost always on bended knee, head down and close to the ground, the hummers will buzz around as they move from flower to flower. I always think, if only the camera were at hand, and then go on working. Here was the big opportunity. The camera WAS in hand, and the hand was not even covered in dirt, the chair offered a comfortable position from which to shoot, the bird was inches away from my face, and I missed the shot. Bummer.

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But wait! The camera is still turned on and the hummingbird has returned. Not to check out the person sitting in the blue chair, but to visit the inherited tiger lilies growing with the passalong tall garden phlox that front the Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Mops’ hedge just a few feet away. The camera starts snapping.

July 12, 2009 005 (2)
After a couple of shots it is remembered to zoom in for a closer look. Too bad it wasn’t the new camera with the 20x zoom, the Canon Powershot sx1 IS, but that is the way life works. The hummingbird savored the offerings of the lilies, holding onto the stamens for support for what seemed like minutes but was probably seconds.

July 12, 2009 006 (2)
Is this the Holy Grail moment? Is this the sharply focused close up image of a hummingbird feeding in nature? Unfortunately no, it is not. However, it is far and away the best chance with which we have ever been presented to capture an image of the sweet tiny denizen of the Fairegarden. It was a learning experience, a baby step towards that lofty goal.

July 12, 2009 017 (2)
The lesson taught by this experience was this …… plant more tiger lilies. (And keep the camera close by.) These tall lilies were growing here amongst the jungle of vines and decaying fruit trees on the slope when we bought the house. After a backhoe cleared and terraced the steep hill, they appeared the next spring. We were thrilled to have them and learned they would grow easily from the little bulbils that grow where the leaves meet the stem. But later it was read that these old fashioned lilies could spread a lily virus that would affect other lilies and lead to the disfigurement and death of newer cultivars. Grudgingly all the tigers were dug up and put into the garbage so as not to infect the more desirable but more susceptible asiatics and orientals. But as is often the case, we did not get all the bulb parts and they regrew. By that time our stance had softened towards them. We had missed the tall orange flowers with the dark spots and allowed them to remain.

July 11, 2009 017 (2)
All the lilies have been growing without signs of sickness for several years now. Since the hummingbird incident, the plan is for the tiger lilies to be spread between the evergreen golden hedge and the deciduous azaleas that line the path. The tiger lilies are tall enough to rise above them and the shrubs help hold the stems erect during wind and rain. There are no other lilies in that bed. It is felt the allure of the orange blooms to the hummingbirds more than offsets the danger, if there is one, to the rest of the lilies. If this is wise, who can tell, but is hoped the chance to capture the elusive Hummingbird Holy Grail will come again. Soon.
(Victor Herbert / Rida Johnson Young)
The first line of this song was featured in the brilliant Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein, sung by the inimitable Madeline Kahn. Click here if you dare. The situation is adult themed but hilarious.


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56 Responses to Hummingbird Holy Grail?

  1. Sunita says:

    What an amazing moment that must have been, eye-to-eye with a gorgeous hummingbird! We dont have them here in India but the sunbirds are here and are tiny jewel-like creatures too. After reading your post I’m going to make sure I step out with my camera always in hand. Who knows when my sunbirds will feel like checking me out?
    I love that orange-spotted lily. It looks spectacular!

    Hi Sunita, thanks. your sunbirds sound similar and I know your garden is a paradise. You might have an intimate moment with one and need to have the camera ready! πŸ™‚

  2. Darla says:

    Entertaining story this morning. It is so hard to capture the Hummers, you did a great job. We have two feeders on our front porch and if you aren’t careful the Hummers will buzz your head. Do you have a firebush? I have seen Hummers on ours everyday this week. Didn’t know about the virus from Tiger Lilies, I’ll just have to chance that. I love the few I have.

    Hi Darla, thanks. Our feeder, we had two last year but the resident hummer allows no one else to visit!, sees a steady stream, but never more than one at a time. I love when one is near and we can feel the vibration before we hear it. I don’t think the firebush is hardy here, yours is lovely though, lucky you to have such welcome guests. I love the tiger lilies and will be spreading them after seeing the hummer loving them up! πŸ™‚

  3. Janet says:

    Oh Frances! Great story, love the spots on that Tiger lily…just great. Hummingbirds are so fast–sometimes I think we need a camera in our eye…like 6 Million Dollar Man or was it GoGo Gadget? Just the time raising the camera to our face …zoooooom they are gone. Your shots are wonderful.
    AND I LOVE MADELINE KAHN!!!! Young Frankenstein is the best.

    Thanks Janet. That would be great, camera in the eye, think of the photos we could take! Looking at some of the clips from Young Frankenstein was a treat. Need to view that again. Madeline Kahn was amazing, as were all the performances, funny stuff. πŸ™‚

  4. Vue Jarden says:

    Thanks for the great post, I finally found out that that orange flower in my blog is tiger lilies.

    Hi Vue Jarin, thanks and welcome. Glad you got the plant ID, it is always good to know the names of our flowers, IMHO. πŸ™‚

  5. gittan says:

    WOW! What a great moment for you! I hope you’ll get more of those. Being abel to capture a hummingbird like that must be great. I’m happy when I’m even abel to get one or two butterflies with my canon =)
    Kram gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks, it was quite exciting! Still waiting for the butterflies to show up in the normal numbers.

  6. tina says:

    Lovely story Frances. Those shots of the hummer are very very good.

    Hi Tina, thanks. Not good enough, but perhaps the best I’ll ever get so I am thankful for them. πŸ™‚

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I often find that disconnect from hand to brain when it comes to viewing nature and wanting a photo of it. I often sit in the Casa and watch hummers working the flowers. I finally had to draw it. Ha… Those big orange lilies are gorgeous. I just love seeing them. I remember seeing them wild before. They just make my heart sing. Have a good weekend.

    Hi Tina, thanks and a good weekend to you as well. Disconnect is the perfect word, the brain was floating in limbo! I love that you can draw the hummers, you are so talented. πŸ™‚

  8. Randy says:

    I had one do that to me last year. It kind of startled me at first. He was looking me in the eye with his little black eye. Then I kind of freaked out because I thought he might be using my pupil for a bulls eye for that sharp little beak of his. I was just getting ready to throw my coffee cup and run when he flew off. πŸ™‚

    Oh Randy, you are so funny! HA They are a little scary, with that long pointy beak. Now if our eyes were red, they might think them flowers and zoom in for a drink? πŸ™‚

  9. Rose says:

    Life is good. Your photos of the hummer are wonderful, Frances; I think this qualifies as finding the Holy Grail! I haven’t seen too many hummingbirds this year, but in the past I would sit on the porch with camera in hand, waiting and waiting…I’ve had them come within a couple feet of me, too, but only when I didn’t have my camera:)

    I remember the scene in Young Frankenstein so well–I used to show this video to my seniors when we had finished reading the novel Frankenstein. I was so happy to see that today’s teenagers find the movie just as hilarious as we did when it first came out. They much preferred it to Hamlet:)

    Hi Rose, thanks, and yes it is. The photos are not as sharp as I would like so do not qualify, in my opionion anyway. But they can have the title until something better comes along. I was happy for the opportunity. The movie clip is one of the all time greats, you must have been a beloved teacher to show it to your class. Much better than Hamlet, although if Mel could have worked his magic with that one, who knows? πŸ™‚

  10. Meems says:

    Good morning Frances,
    Your story today is so indicative of a gardener’s dilemma. Head down, hands dirty, with all the wonderful buzzing and flutterings heard and sometimes even felt around us and camera nearby but no way to capture the moment.

    Those orange spotted tiger lilies are gorgeous. I think I’d take my chances on an unfounded virus and your idea to add even more where the shrubs will help stabilize sounds like a good idea. It works for my caladiums crammed in between other plants keeping them upright by sheer crowded conditions.

    Your photos are better than any I’ve been able to grab. Just two days ago I spotted the very first hummer here in two years. It didn’t stay long on the red zinnia of all things. My camera was inside the house as I had gone outside to hand water. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. My brain froze up and I just took in the glory of that wonderful humming sound and sight.

    I think your sitting spot will afford you more opportunities. Patience and readiness… I have complete confidence in you… your holy grail will come.

    It’s good to visit. It seems I have been very distracted from blogging. My little one is at my feet this morning allowing for some laptop time while he plays. Always good to stop by with coffee in hand for some beautiful sights in your lovely garden.

    Good morning Meems. It is so nice to see you and you are too sweet. It should be enought to enjoy the whirring of wings around our heads as we work in the garden, shouldn’t it? Dang blog! Brain freezing up is just what happened too. The camera needed to be mounted on the tripod and ready to go, but any movement would have frightened him away probably. And I cannot sit there at the ready to click for more than a minute or so. Those weeds just call my name! Have fun with your family, we are going to be seeing ours soon. Can’t wait. πŸ™‚


  11. Dave says:

    I’ve had that moment when you see the hummingbird so close you are afraid to move to position your camera otherwise you will scare the bird away. Great photos!

    Hi Dave, thanks. Don’t you wonder what they are thinking when they hover and scope you out? Do they think we are food? HA

  12. Frances, Thank you for the narrative of your adventure with the hummers. You actually got some great photos (MY opinion) and I can imagine the fun you had! πŸ™‚

    Hi Shady, thanks so much. I was happy with the photos, but they could have been much sharper. I know the camera can do it if the hummers will just sit still! HA

  13. Phillip says:

    I have tiger lilies for the first time this year but they are in the lower part of the garden so I’m not sure if the hummingbirds visit them. I’m sure they probably do. That “Sweet Mystery of Life” song – I can’t hear that without thinking of “Young Frankenstein”!

    Hi Phillip, I have had a total change of heart about the tiger lilies and will be spreading them rather than digging them up to toss from now on. They are so easy and colorful and tall and the fact that the hummers find them attractive overrules other considerations. Me too on the song, had to include the clip. πŸ™‚

  14. Gail says:

    Frances, Fantastic photo of the perfectly healthy Tiger Lily and what a wonderful story. Isn’t that how it happens…we are first and foremost gardeners. The marvels of nature captivate us and we take it all in…Maybe it’s smart to plan a morning of waiting on a comfortable chair for the hummers and butterflies. Of course they are smarter then us and will wait to visit when we are distracted and pulling weeds. I love the photos of the hummer…and have full confidence that you will get your HG soon. Have a marvelous day. ps If you have a few to spare, may I please have a bulbil!…and Young Frankenstein and Madeline Kahn came to mind for me, too! gail

    Hi Gail, thanks and happy birthday my friend. You will get some bulbils, they are so easy to grow. Hope you have a wonderful, happy day. πŸ™‚

  15. Joanne says:

    Such a lovely story and beautiful shots of lillies and hummingbird.

    Thanks Joanne, glad you enjoyed the story. πŸ™‚

  16. joey says:

    A lovely tale, Frances. Hummers are rascals to photography. I never have my camera near when they graze my head in search of nectar. You did well! (BTW ~ Love the music … I’m a huge Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy fan).

    Hi Joey, thanks. From some of the comments, it seems the hummers know when we don’t have the camera and chose to say hello then. Old school for the song, eh? Good for you. πŸ™‚

  17. easygardener says:

    Great that the Humming bird gave you a second chance by returning to the Lillies. Isn’t it amazing how the brain (supposedly faster than a computer) can move so slowly when we are caught unawares.

    Hi EG, thanks for visiting. It was sporting of the hummer to come back knowing I still was holding the camera, even if my brain was too slow to use it properly for the stare down. Faster than a computer? Maybe one of the original ones that took several rooms of space. HA

  18. I love the Hummers…it’s amazing how they can just stop in mid-air. The Tiger liies are beautiful.

    Hi Linda, thanks and welcome. So glad you enjoyed the flowers and the flying flowers too. πŸ™‚

  19. You’ll have to embark on some kind of military reaction training.

    Well, at least you’re one step near staging the grand finale. Good luck.


    Too funny, Rob, military reaction training, HA One step closer, yes, thanks for the good wishes, I obviously need them. πŸ™‚

  20. VW says:

    Face to face with a little beauty, what a moment! I’ve been getting excited this year when I see a bird sitting in any of our newly planted trees. And I did see a hummingbird visiting my ‘June Bride’ coral bells last month. These moments are the beginnings of the transformation of our backyard from nothing-but-lawn to a haven for people and birds (um, bunnies and squirrels can stay at their current home, please?!). I’m a little slow, I guess, but I finally understand why people put out bird feeders. The little guys are the entertainment in the garden.

    Hi VW, thanks, it was memorable. Good deal on your visitors. When you figure out how to keep the squirrels and bunnies away, let me know. The birds are better than flowers in the winter months at the feeders, and the hummers coming to the feeder and out in the garden are the best of all. June Bride is a great plant too. πŸ™‚

  21. Sweet Bay says:

    Ah yes, have had many of those “if only I had my camera” moments. And the ‘Oh darn I missed it!” moments too. But you got some nice shots! Love your garden views. Beautiful.

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks. It happens all the time, doesn’t it? This time I even had the camera in hand and thought *if only*. LOL

  22. Catherine says:

    The Tiger lilies are so pretty, I definitely need to add those to my garden.
    I hardly ever have my camera with me when I’m out in the garden doing work, I’m afraid it’ll accidentally get watered by my 2 year old. Of course that’s usually when I see something really great to take a picture of. When I do go out to take my pictures I’ve usually got an entourage following me around scaring off birds and butterflies.

    Hi Catherine, thanks for visiting. You are so right about having the camera, I am so muddy no matter the task that it would ruin the camera, let alone the watering. Sounds like your have plenty of helpers in the garden, how delightful. Soon enough they will be old enough to be still and quiet and watch for the birds and butterflies. The Tiger lilies are so easy and have a long bloom time too, nearly indestructible. πŸ™‚

  23. Les says:

    I am definately going to have to get some of the lilies in my garden. It seems like it has been a very good year for them here. I did not need to click on the Young Frankenstein link – my wife can quote the lines verbatim.

    Hi Les, thanks for visiting. The lilies are having the best year ever here, it’s the rain we believe. That is pretty funny about your wife. I assume you know the lines of the monster verbatim too. πŸ™‚

  24. Rusty says:

    Great story and wonderful photos, do you think the hummingbird was trying to tell you something, like β€œhey thanks for the feeder and all the flowers in your garden”

    Hi Rusty, thanks so much and nice to see you. I love the thought that the hummer was being so courteous and grateful. The creatures do seem appreciative here. πŸ™‚

  25. Frances – a great story and you caught such wonderful photos of your tiny friend. They are so sweet and we delight in watching their antics in our garden from our front porch rocking chairs each morning. We also have a friendly little female who comes up a few feet from our faces to say “hello” but only when I don’t have my camera on my lap! She KNOWS! πŸ™‚

    Hi Cameron, thanks. Your front porch sounds like a heavenly place, being able to watch the wildlife in the shady comfort. That is funny that she knows when you don’t have your camera, I agree completely. πŸ™‚

  26. lynn says:

    You IS my hero, Frances! Your photos are always out of this world to me! And you told a story very similiar to my own experience with a hummer the other morning. Standing behind the Jacob Cline monardas, it hovered inches from my face and I literally froze..even though the camera WAS in my hand!! Still out every morning, hoping for a capture on film πŸ™‚ Love those tiger lilies!!

    HA Lynn, that is hilarious, thanks for the support. I honestly forgot about having the camera, trying to be still to not scare her away. They do seem to love the red monardas here too. When I am weeding on hand and knee around that area, there is always a whizzing vibration nearby. I don’t even have to look up, just smile and keep on working. Good luck with the capture of your own little ones too. The Tiger lilies are so easy to grow and long blooming. πŸ™‚

  27. Diana says:

    Frances — How exciting it must have been to capture the hummers at the Tiger Lilies. After the heartbreak of digging up the lilies, you must have been glad to see them reappear. They are amazing. Don’t you love how exotic they are? But I am also taken with the Phlox growing right beside them. So many beautiful things in your garden, as always. Happy GBBD.

    Hi Diana, thanks, it was very exciting. And as for the lilies, it was gratifying to see them return. Those phlox, from my dear neighbor, have been spread far and wide, for they are just as tough as the tiger lilies and they go so well together.

  28. kerri says:

    Frances, those close encounters with the hummers are heart stopping, aren’t they? And yes, mind numbing πŸ™‚ They’re such bold and curious little souls. I love your photos and am glad you had a second chance.
    I managed to grow one of those tiger lilies from seed and it bloomed for the first time last summer. Such exquisite beauty, and worth the risk of spreading disease. I hadn’t heard about that before. Good to know. No sign of it here so far, thank heavens.
    Wishing you many more HG moments with the hummers πŸ™‚

  29. Racquel says:

    Wow cool captures of the elusive Hummingbird Frances! I didn’t realize they were attracted to the Tigerlily. Glad I kept a few clumps in my garden now. πŸ™‚ I missed a great shot of them visiting my purple Lobelia this week. 😦

  30. Beckie says:

    Frances, I love, love, love the hummer photos! But best of all is your ability to draw us into the moment. I felt the excitment grow as I hummed Sweet Mystery by, who else, M. Kahn!

  31. jennifer says:

    Ahh! Frances what an exciting moment for you.
    I can sit for hours with camera in hand, just waiting for one of those ‘kodak’ moments.

  32. Congratulations! You got a hummer photo, albeit not quite the quality that you want, but sometimes you just have to appreciate a good effort. I love the idea of a butterfly blind for shooting butterflies. Fortunately, I don’t need one, as the butterflies don’t mind me snapping away.

  33. linda says:

    Delightful read Frances! I think you captured some wonderful shots, and am confident there will be more hummingbird photo ops in your future. I hope you find your holy grail and I’m looking forward to seeing it when you do.

  34. mothernaturesgarden says:

    Your account of the hummer capture is so real. In my imagination, I can see you in and about the garden going for the gold. I usually get so excited at the prospect of a good shot, the camera shakes. I have to remember to be calm.

  35. Lzyjo says:

    How exciting! i never have good luck with hummers or butterflies. It must be magical in your backyard. Your lily are gorgeous, lust love those recurved petals!

  36. Carole says:

    I have Madeline Kahn (sp?) singing in my head right now. Wonderful post!

  37. Jake says:

    Your Tiger Lillies are beautiful and unique looking.


  38. Frances, I adore tiger lilies though those we call that here in MI don’t look quite like yours (the petals don’t curl back). The last two shots of the hummer were awesome–they are such a joy to watch and an even greater joy to photograph!

  39. The hummingbird pictures just took my breath away! He is SO beautiful! He matches the flowers around him in colouration too, and his colours also remind me of the inside an abalone shell! I don’t think you should feel you missed the shot at all, these pictures are magical, really!
    Plant Lady

  40. marmee says:

    what is it about the hummingbird that makes us grown women swooned like we were with elvis or michael buble’…you’d think we would be a little more reserved…lol. i just had a similar visit and felt faint. haha.

  41. Frances, The hummer pics are humdingers anyway. I had a similar experience this summer trying to capture a gold full moon rising over the St. Lawrence. Sometimes we simply have to be content with the camera of the mind; more precious because more ephemeral.

  42. Heather says:

    Frances, you are an amazing photographer. Those pictures are awesome. So hard to get and they are perfect. Wow.

  43. commonweeder says:

    What a story and what photos. I never seem to have the camera at the ready even though I say I will carry it everywhere. I like the story about your son staying still so the hummer could try and sip from his shorts – in spite of the tickling.

  44. Tyra says:

    Hi Frances, I’m actually at work and have a few moments to read some of my favorite blogs. Thank you for a lovely and well written story and fantastic pictures to go with it. Just what I needed/ LOLove Tyra

  45. Layanee says:

    Magic with the camera lens is what that is. Great shots of the hummer and the tiger lilies also.

  46. Cindy, MCOK says:

    How cool is that? I had no idea that the hummers liked tiger lilies. I’ve never seen them here so I assumed we can’t grow them. Maybe I need to challenge that assumption!

  47. TC says:

    Your martagons are lovely! How is their aroma?

  48. Kathleen says:

    Nice job Frances! I try and try each summer for that one great hummer shot too and I tell you, it takes a LOT of patience. I did not know they liked tiger lilies that’s for sure! I just added a few bulbs to my front bed this year but if they will attract hummingbirds, I’ll add more. I hope to see more of your captures. I bet you get a great one.

  49. What great shots! Hummingbirds just don’t sit still for photographing, that has been my experience anyway. I keep hoping I will catch them at my coral bells. Hah. And it is true, you have to have your camera with you ALL THE TIME.

    As I was saying to Jim the other day as I was headed to the river to float, “Dag nab it, I forgot the camera.”

    “Oh, what are the odds that you’ll see something that really needs to be photographed.”

    “They are now 100% since I don’t have the camera with me.” Sure enough, there were two huge alligator snapping turtles fishing in a hole where we watched them for 15 minutes. We saw three just hatched baby snakes and played with them for over half an hour. Etc.

    By the way, this post epitomizes why I have left an award for you over at my blog. . .

  50. Jan says:

    Great photos, Francis. I wish I could take pictures of these fast moving birds.

    Always Growing

  51. nancybond says:

    Your photos are just lovely, Frances! I do love tiger lilies — I adore orange flowers in the garden and they remind me of the clumps that used to grow willy-nilly along our ditches when I was a little girl. Beautiful.

  52. Charlotte says:

    Really good photos – just brilliant catching the hummingbird too! Lovely blog – thanks for sharing!

  53. Young Frankenstein must have permanently marked many of us – heard Madeline from the second I read your first line, Frances. (and just hearing the words ‘my boyfriend’ can evoke a nostalgic Frau-giggle)

    Maybe this is a sign your luck with hummingbird photography will now turn around? It must have been very exciting! I hope you get many more chances to capture them.

    The overview photos of your garden with blooming phlox and buddleia are just lovely – it must smell like honey when you are out there.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  54. cheryl says:

    Isn’t it wonderful when you see Hummingbird toes πŸ™‚ Awesome photos Frances ! and I love Madeline, hehehehehe

    Hi Cheryl, what a delightful thought, the toes of the hummers! Thanks for cheering me up!

  55. Weeping Sore says:

    Catching a hummer in the act, being able to stop his wings from blurring – you did it! As you know, they like any trumpet-shaped flower. Try a morning glory vine and they’ll be yours for life. They’re very territorial, and mine often buzz me if I get too close to “their” flowers.

    Thanks WS. It is still a little blurry, but may be the best that can be done. I was thrilled to get those shots. The hummers are so territorial, they spend more time chasing each other that could be used eating happily. HA

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