After the hard physical labor of gardening in summer that begins just as there is enough daylight to tell a weed from a desirable and a stem can be cut without danger of slicing my finger is done, the tired gardener goes inside for a cool down.
Cleanup, a snack and a cool beverage revive and refresh her so that she can head right back outside, this time with the camera in hopes of capturing the flying flowers that are seen flitting about while she labors on bended knee.
Flowers have been planted just for them, those chittering, swooping green backed darts. It has been learned through the years that having their favorite flowers massed together within view but not too close to a comfortable chair is the best way to capture what we like to refer to as the *Holy Grail*, a decent image of a hummingbird feeding on the flowers. See previous posts about it here, here and here.
At this time of year, it is the tiger lilies, Lilium tigrinum that came with the property, among others, that offer the best opportunity for the grail capture. The chair is in position in a shady spot just far enough away to not deter the diners but close enough for the camera range to be optimum. We hope.
As has been happening the last few days of this endeavor, the hummer is at the lilies as I approach. The camera is turned on and pointed, always on auto setting for that is my method, and zoomed. This is a new camera, purchased right before Christmas of 2012 with a 20x zoom, the Canon Powershot SX260HS. The learning curve for its use is still being climbed. Trial and error is the best teacher for me.
I can barely get a click off before she flies away. But she’ll be back if I just sit here and wait, wishing and hoping. Sitting and waiting is the hardest part of this, being an ants in her pants kind of gal. I look around at the foliage, the fallen pine needles on the path, the mosquitoes landing on exposed skin and try to grab them before blood is drawn. Sometimes I get lucky in that.
All of a sudden the thrumming sound is heard. The camera is already on, resting on my pulled up knee, in position, and zoomed in appropriately. The little bird darts from flower to flower in a feeding frenzy. We try to look both at the hummingbird and the camera screen at the same time for the best possible moments of excited clicking. It’s not easy.
was written by Hal David & Burt Bacharach and originally recorded as a b side single by Dionne Warwick in 1963. Dusty Springfield recorded it in a similar style and released it a year later, 1964. It reached #6 on the pop and #4 on the easy listening Billboard charts during the summer of 1964. Hers is the better known version and the one I thought of when writing this post, wishin’ and hopin’ for the little female ruby throated hummingbird to slow down enough for me to take a crisp and clear picture of her, the Holy Grail.
Above is a shot of a male ruby throat that was clicked as I was walking to go into the house after an unsuccessful wishin’ and hopin’ afternoon in June. I heard the humming, turned around and blindly clicked. This is the result.