Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Ride the North Wind...






Migration has already begun here in the Northern Hemisphere as shorter hours of sunlight and lowering temperatures tell millions of birds to go south.  The loons, geese, ducks, and shorebirds have all heard the message and have already left the barrens of Alaska and Canada.  And, the little Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in our woods and fields have heard it too.  It's time to go...

And, certainly yesterday was a perfect day to answer that call - to ride the north wind southward.  And, that's just what some did. There are still many here, but I haven't seen a single ruby red throat amongst them.  Those are the males which are always the first to go.  Left behind for a while longer are the females and the juveniles.

  As I watched these marvelous little birds at the feeders last evening, I couldn't help but feel a bit of melancholy creep over me, for I know some will be back next spring, and  some will not, for their journey will be long and filled with danger.   But, for those who do make it back, they will remember this place where the kind lady tends flower gardens and hangs feeders filled with delicious goodness.  I'll see you then little ones.  May your journey be a safe one.










24 comments:

di said...

This brought tears to my eyes and heart...thank you kind lady...I follow your blog and thank you for making our little world more bearable and sane...diana

acorn hollow said...

I have seen so many crows lately I believe it is called a murder of crows.
I know the days are getting shorter and the birds and trees are feeling it.
Cathy

Granny Marigold said...

It never fails to amaze me that those tiny birds can fly so far to spend the winter then all the way back again next spring. I was reading that they mostly fly alone, not in groups, which I found hard to imagine.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love that title, "Ride the North Wind." Our birds seem to just hang around all year... It may be that some species fly through this area going south, but they don't come to my garden.

But butterflies -- the Monarchs, which i went to a lot of trouble to raise last summer, fly south, and over the course of the year they breed four generations, and by the time the great great grandchildren emerge they should be back North again close enough to the garden where their ancestors metamorphosed last year that they would lay eggs here.

I haven't seen any Monarchs at all this season. It occurred to me the other day that the two I released might have been eaten before they got out of town! I wasn't planning to incubate the eggs and all that this year, so I'm not disappointed that way, but still, a little sad.

Hill Top Post said...

Di, I know. I sometimes have to blink back the tears.

Cathy, change will come fast now. Are you ready for more snow? We haven't had much more than a trace the past three years, so I am thinking this may be the year.

Granny Marigold, I worry that the little hummers won't find food enough to make such a long trip. I am always amazed at how much they can consume. Just two days ago, I was putting out over 2 1/2 gallons each day.

Gretchen, I remember reading about your Monarchs project. I must go back and refresh myself on that story. I do hope your babies weren't eaten.

Leigh said...

I love hummingbirds!

Rose said...

I almost left a comment yesterday to see if you are okay. I love fall with a passion, but there is also always a bit of sadness that is there. I guess because it is the ending of a season for some things.

I love that first shot!

jenclair said...

I read recently that they remember every flower they visit which certainly seems true during a season, but do they also transmit a genetic memory of place to their young? This year the favorite has been the basil I let flower instead of keeping it trimmed. It is a long journey and takes a lot of feeding and energy.

Hill Top Post said...

Oh I know, Leigh! It is easy to become obsessed with them.

Rose, it's just that summer jobs and that house makeover project just about wiped me out. I have tried to keep up with your blog but just didn't always comment. ( I do like curtains that puddle, though! :~)

Lady Locust said...

Oh, they are delightful aren't they. And so kind of you to cater to them as you do :-)

Henny Penny said...

I didn't know the males leave first. That is interesting. Well, for now all of the hummingbirds are still here. I am boiling sugar water and filling feeders every day! At times I feel like I can't keep up. :) Your post touched my heart. It is sad to see them leave and to wonder how many will survive the long trip.

Hootin Anni said...

spectacular photos! I love hummingbirds

Quilting Babcia said...

The ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only variety found in New York state, ours are still coming to the feeders but will probably leave within the next week or so. We've loved seeing them from the kitchen window and while sitting out on the porch. Til next spring, safe travels little ones...

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Interesting to note that the male ruby-throats leave ahead of the females - no chivalry among those birds! You got some great photos. It's sad to think that the dreaded winter months are coming. I always hate winter and I suspect this year it will be worse than usual because of having to be cooped up so much.

Bonnie K said...

Great photos. Fitting for such a wonderful post. I also am feeling fall in the air. I have teleworking all summer and I must say there is no better office than the porch. I'm sure your little birds will make it back. I had one Hummer stay through two snowstorms until I no longer saw it on October 23. I believe it has been back the last two years. Tough little buggers. Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

Such a beautiful and wistful post, Mary. My heart feels a little sad for you with the departure of your beautiful birds as they fly to warmer climes. But......those that can will fly back to the beautiful and kind lady who always welcomes them with open arms.

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I feel the same as you when the birds leave. It is always a delight to see them return in the spring!

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Love your post and photos. I feel the same as you do when the birds migrate and fly away. It is always a delight to see them the next spring!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I love your photos especially the hummingbirds It's that time of year again. Fall is coming and the birds are migrating. It's wonderful when the weather gets cooler and the leaves change to beautiful colors.

The Hermits said...

We have one feeder, and exactly one hummingbird. A mean little Rufous that won't share. I swear, if he didn't spend so much energy chasing away other birds, he wouldn't have to drink near as much!

Vintage Keepsakes said...

It's hard to believe that August is almost over...schools are back in session and the days are getting shorter! It sounds like a full time job for you to take care of those little hummers. I am sure they appreciate that you look after them each year; and make them feel like welcomed guest. I think that you have been busy with your kitchen redo too! I hope you have found time to stitch some doll dresses and maybe have a minute or two bringing those dolls closer to being finished. I am trying to get back to the sewing room myself and make some little quilts and hopefully someday a doll dress or two.

Jeanette said...

Love those beautiful pictures of hummingbirds! We have a feeder that only gets one at a time but I sit on my deck for hours waiting to see one! Such precious birds!

Inger said...

What a lovely sweet post. The humming birds are still here, in the mountains of So. California, but will soon be on their way. The nights are getting colder.

Morning's Minion said...

Each year I promise myself that I will make a note of when the hummingbirds arrive and leave; somehow I don't do that. Ours are still coming to the feeders--maybe for another few weeks[?]