Conversations with a Hummingbird

I think it was a juvenile. I first spotted him procuring nectar from the profusion of purple flowers on what we call our butterfly bush.

I had marched out of my house and was going to our far backyard garden to gain some equanimity of mind and to talk with God. As I came around the final corner of the shed, I spotted the small, thumb-size, almost overlooked little hummer enjoying the blooms of our butterfly bush.

I stopped. I froze. I wanted to watch him. Only about five feet of air space separated us. So I stood very still, and he continued to feed.

It was fascinating. The little wings almost invisible, they were flapping so quickly. His agility to move from blossom to blossom without any calculated maneuvering; he instinctively flitted from cup to cup of each individual flower. What made his performance even more mesmerizing was the slight breeze that was causing the bush to bounce and sway capriciously; it seemingly made no difference to this little flyer. The swath of blooms waved and nodded in the breeze, while he calmly continued to feed, his own small frame blithely dancing in rhythm with the laden bough.
I watched, enthralled. Then he rested. Sitting on the branch between two whorls of leaves, he looked at me. And looked at me. And looked at me. And I looked back. I still stood very motionless, not wanting to startle him off.

He flew off the branch, came towards me, hovered, watched, then, “snick, snick, snick”. This is a common sound for a hummer to make. So I thought I’d answer him back, “tsick, tsick, tsick”…I did my best imitation of his sound. He flew closer, then “snick, snick” again…and I again answered, “tsick, tsick”. I think we clicked back and forth one more time. Then he flew in really close to get a good look at me; he was about one foot from my face. Then, up he zipped to an overhead wire and observed me from there.

He did go back to his nectar and his blooms, and I continued to quietly observe him until he had his fill and flew off. I had a conversation with a hummingbird today. What did he say? It’s hard to put into words, but something about loveliness and wonder and God.

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