What Does a Hummingbird Nest Look Like? Ask Mabel

I always enjoy a visit with Mabel Milner. She is a captivating conversationalist and she knows so many interesting things about nature, about plants and flowers, and about gardening. I always know I will learn about something when I visit, I just don’t know what. This time I learned about hummingbird nests.

I love it when Mabel gets her glasses in one hand and starts punctuating with the other.

I love it when Mabel gets her glasses in one hand and starts punctuating with the other.

One of the reasons for my latest visit was to deliver a questionnaire that would determine “hummingbird habitat certification” for her yard. We exchanged pleasantries for a few moments—Mabel always sits by her window that looks down and out over her beautiful yard—and she pointed to an oak tree.

“A few years ago, I looked out this window and noticed what looked like a giant dragonfly hovering around a branch of that oak tree. It was about twenty feet above the ground.” I leaned over and saw that she was pointing to a tree just to the right rear of where my truck was parked.

The parlor window looks out over a wonderful, well-tended back yard

The parlor window looks out over a wonderful, well-tended back yard

“After a few days, we realized that we were watching a male ruby-throated hummingbird. It was quite a treat. He was ‘casing the joint,’ looking for a site in which to build a new home. He finally decided that he liked this location and showed it to his partner. I watched the two of them looking around. She approved.

“It seems that the male hummingbird comes to look for a nesting site early in the season and to establish his territory. He needs good perches from which to survey his domain and he wants the availability of water as well as nectar-rich flowers. There’s the nest, over on that table, under the glass dome.” She pointed. I walked over and removed the glass dome from the work of art. I brought it to the coffee table to study it.

view 1 of a well-preserved hummingbird nest.

view 1 of a well-preserved hummingbird nest.

“The male watches as the female studies the site and then she builds the nest with little or no help from him. It only takes her a day or two before the nest is ready and well-disguised. A few days later she has laid two pea sized eggs and sits on them to keep them warm. About two to three weeks later I could see the baby hummingbirds with their beaks open, looking for food.”

view 2 of the hummingbird nest. "They use spider webs and moss in the construction" She said.

view 2 of the hummingbird nest. “They use spider webs and moss in the construction” She said.

“And guess what…” Mabel said with a grin, “The daddy is done, he says, ‘no child support from me—I’m out of here,’ and he flies off to other venues leaving the mother to raise the babies alone. They are voracious eaters and momma stays exhausted.

“The young stay in the territory after fledging and the momma begins to introduce them to surrounding flowers and to the feeder by the back porch. The family remains for the rest of the season.”

hummingbird nest view 3. It must be some strong construction to have lasted for 3 years.

hummingbird nest view 3. It must be some strong construction to have lasted for 3 years.

Mabel continued, “A year later we had the same scenario. It seems that the hummingbirds often feel that it is easier to spruce up the old place than to build a new one. We watched the birds as they used the home for three years before abandoning the nest.”

“We couldn’t resist,” she said, “after we figured out that the hummers were finished with the nest for good, we used ladders and pole pruners to carefully remove the nest from the tree and turned it into a bit of a shrine under glass. It has been taken to quite a number of ‘show-and-tells’ for the grandchildren.”

I loved seeing the preserved hummingbird nest and I truly enjoyed the story. Thank you very much, Mabel Milner of Rome, Georgia.

As usual, I would just love for you to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Advertisements

The Hay Baler

First an announcement: the novel “Requiem for a Redneck” by John P. Schulz is now available as an e book at the Amazon store.  Click here to go there.  For today’s article I have chosen a short story that I wrote a week or two ago. The painting, “The Hay Baler” is an original painting by my friend, Randy Eidson.

The Hay Baler, A painting by my friend, Randy Eidson

The Hay Baler, a painting by my friend, Randy Eidson

The Hay Baler

Jimbob grinned as he looked out over the field of tightly packed rolled bales. He was waiting for the semi to return for another load. What a feeling of satisfaction it was to have the crop in and sold and to just be working on the delivery. “If nothing goes wrong, I’ll be able to pick up the check tomorrow.” He said to himself.

It was too bad that Dad was no longer here to see the sight. Dad had been right. The best way to make a profit farming was to get a farm near a river, put in an irrigation system, and pray for a drought. And Jimbob had been right to convert his hay fields over to alfalfa which is the preferred feed for fine race horses. He sold the entire crop at a premium price to just two of the Kentucky stables.

He wished he could talk to his dad. He just wanted to grin and tell dad that he would make the final payment on the farm mortgage. He hadn’t really kept up with the numbers but he had struggled to make the five thousand dollar payments each month and now there was just one payment left. Maybe he should check the numbers.

He dialed the bank’s number on his cell phone and asked to speak to the bank president. Jimbob waited a few seconds,

“This is Mr. Vernon.”

“Hello, Mr. Vernon, this is Jimbob. I just wanted to tell you I would make the final payment on Dad’s farm mortgage tomorrow.”

There was a pause. Mr. Vernon said, “That’s amazing.”

This made Jimbob feel pretty good. “It’s been a good season.”

“It must have been a hell of a good season,” Mr. Vernon replied.

Jimbob paused and then asked, “What do you mean by that?”

Mr. Vernon said, “Jimbob, do you know what a balloon note is?”

“No, I don’t reckon I do.”

“Well, that’s when you make the payments manageable by putting a payoff of somewhere near half the loan at the end of the payoff period. Your final payment is eighty five thousand dollars.”

Jimbob was stunned. “Dad left me with a mortgage like that?”

Mr. Vernon replied sadly, “Yes, Jimbob, he re-financed only a few weeks before he went on to a better place.”

Realization hit Jimbob. “That sumbitch.” He said furiously.“I wondered how he got the money to take that young blonde to live in Hawaii.”

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

The fireplace. A story

The tagline for this blog promises plants-gardening-stories.  Today we have a story about a well crafted beautiful fireplace.  It is a story with a twist to get you in the mood for the upcoming season.

The Fireplace–a story.

the fireplace

Read the story and you’ll see why the picture is fuzzy.

Grandma’s chin was nestled on her ample chest as she dozed through the Christmas eve Bible reading.  Her ten year old granddaughter sat on the hearth, her knees pulled up under her chin as she listened to her mother reading.

Grandma caught herself dozing.  Her head jerked up and she motioned sharply at her grandson.  “Bubba, throw another log on the fire.  I’m cold.”  She adjusted her shawl around her shoulders and her chin fell down again to her chest.

Bubba had been sitting there whittling in front of the fire.  He slowly laid down his piece of cedar, folded his pocket knife, rose with a grunt, and walked to the stack of split firewood in the corner of the room.  He carefully chose just the right piece of wood, walked over and placed it on the fire and adjusted it.  He picked up the poker and stirred up the red embers.

“There you go, Grandma”. Bubba said as he sat back down and resumed his whittling.

As the mother paused in her reading about the Baby Jesus, the ten year old daughter spoke up.  “This is so wonderful.  I want to sit by this fireplace every Christmas of my life.  Just like this.  I love this fireplace.”

Sam put on his hard hat and grinned at Bill.

“Damn, Bill, you oughta been a writer.  You sure do have a good imagination.  I can just picture all of that happening.  I bet it did.”

The both turned and gazed at the freestanding fireplace with a two story chimney– all that was left of the comfortable old house that had been there two days ago.

Sam climbed into his dump truck.  “Let’s tear that sucker down.” He yelled.

store built at the site of the chimney

The fireplace stood just there–right where the front door opens automatically.

By john schulz

On watching the chimney at the corner of Martha Berry and the Bypass.

Blog Stats

  • 339,450 hits

Archives

Now available as an ebook at Amazon–read it on your Kindle

Requiem for a Redneck--A novel by John P. Schulz

Check out more adventures of John the plant man in this hilarious yet sensitive award winning novel

Grown Man Now

Billy Schulz, Grown Man Now

My favorite blog by Dr. Jane Schulz and Billy

January 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
%d bloggers like this: