Thunder and hail

Smidge stole my thunder this week, posting already on her FB page about last Sunday’s thunderstorm.  And what a storm.  It started with a crazy hailstorm of fat pea-sized hail that lasted long enough to pile up about an inch and a half of the stuff on the patio. And then the thunder starts for real and it pours water. This is not normal PNW stuff. Mama Marie wanted to know if we used the hail to build an iceman, but no – the Bean wouldn’t let us out for fear we’d either get concussed from the hail or drown in the ensuing flood…and yes, it was a real flood.  Uncle GT was walking the doggie after the rains and he said 121st street was flooded.  Oh my.

We have been on Hummer watch.  We have one or two Hummingbirds who hang out in the tree behind our patio.  It is a wetland, owned by the city, and Auntie Glenda said that, among the pines, there are some Aspens. The one right behind our patio fence is an Aspen, somewhat overgrown to the point it actually crosses the walking path and hangs over our fence.  This week, we learned several things about our Hummers.

The first thing we learned was that Hummers don’t just suck nectar from flowers and feeders, they also dine on bugs.  I suppose that explains how they survive where people don’t have feeders and when flowers aren’t in bloom – like in winter. We watched our Hummer locate a tidbit near the fence, carry it to a leaf branch to finish eating, then check out the fence gate latch by climbing up it before hanging upside down beneath another leaf for another morsel.  He dropped to the ground in front of the gate, and then he hopped – just like a regular bird – under the gate. The Bean thought this one wasn’t a Hummer but something else since it seemed so big and sat so still on the fence and leaf branch and the ground-hopping etc. He had a white stripe behind his ears and his head was dark.  But when he went upside down and beat its wings, she knew it was a Hummer. The variety and habits of Hummers have become our latest obsession.

We watched another Hummer checking out the patio ornaments and scouring the fence-line for more bugs and then dive down and disappear.  The Bean saw it too, and she stood up and walked over to the window to peek out.  There he was, sitting on the very top of Scar, the quartz-infused granite fountain, having a drink from the center bubbler! Scar, top down

This is a picture of Scar through the window…you can see his Scar on the left of his bubbler hole.  We keep him full and clean without any harmful chemicals.

This Hummer seemed to be a different variety of Hummer, more like the ones we are used to seeing with the typical greenish color. We are sorry we missed seeing this and are now stationed at the window, waiting to see if he comes back.  The Bean says she’s pretty sure he will be back soon since she has often seen a previously unnoticed Hummer pop up from beneath the window (surprise! here I am!) giving a full frontal view of him- (or her-) self.  She suspected they were drinking from the fountain, but was only convinced after seeing this one sitting directly on Scar under the window.

So now we watch and wait to see a Hummer drinking from Scar’s bubbler.  We may have to take turns watching since it’s tiring to stand here waiting, but we’re pretty sure it will be worth the effort.

On Hummer Watch

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