Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hummingbirds, Finches, and Doves

Oh, the four kinds of hummingbirds on Jeannie's beautiful placque are Anna's hummingbird, ruby-throated hummingbird, broad-tailed hummingbird, and calliope. Our first summer at Woodsong when I followed my neighbor's directions and put out sugar water for the hummingbirds, I checked out a book about them from Crab Orchard's library. I remember enjoying the lovely pictures, but I can't remember anything I learned. My grandson Trent would remember and tell us how many times a second the tiny wings whirred. I have assumed ours were the ruby-throated variety cause many have the tiny red throats. But the broad-tailed hummingbird on the plaque also has a red throat, and frankly it looks just like the ruby-throated one to me. There were at least eight at the feeder hanging from the deck this evening. It is difficult to count them because they move so rapidly.

Anytime I walk downstairs and through the family room, there are usually at least four to six yellow finches snacking on the sack hanging outside the window there. I first saw finches at the home of my friend Vernell's friend in rural Vienna, and she told me to go buy a stocking of seed and I could have them too. It worked, and it probably helped that my neighbor already had been feeding them. Katherine used to have red ones on her apartment balcony in Nashville, but we've only had yellow. They are so pretty and bright , and it always make me feel good to see them.

The finches waste a lot of thistle seed, so the doves come to the patio underneath their stocking and eat there. The doves are not only lovely to see so close, but their call is soothing. I can remember as a child in Jonesboro sitting on the front porch steps with a lump in my throat from listening to the mourning doves' sad song at twilight.

Geri Ann returned Gerald's phone call from Disneyland. Southern Force Gold had won both games in pool play today at the Champions Cup for ASA fastpitch softball at Irvine, California. Go Force.

I did make my first two batches of zuchinni bread today, and I put two quart bags of shredded zuchinni in the freezer to make bread next winter. Gerald brought in the first small batch of okra tonight, and I fixed it like Phyllis, a friend from Jonesboro now living in Florida, taught me: wash, trim stem, put on plate and cook in microwave. Not as yummy as friend okra--but much better for us. It was good. And our neighbor Scott called to say that his first sweet corn patch was already to be picked. Aren't we lucky that he shares it with us?

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