Back in 2005, when we first moved into this house, we put out hummingbird feeders. We did so with little hope, because we were ignorant. I mean, we live at 7,300 feet in elevation; what self-respecting hummingbird would fly all the way up here?
As readers know from my posts, we see many, many hummingbirds every year, and it’s exciting to see each one. A reassurance, of sorts, that the world is at least partially working as it should.
But, that first year, when we saw something hovering over the flowers, we were doubly excited.
“A hummer!” We shouted joyously, and did our little “we saw a hummer dance”. Yes, there is a hummer dance, but it’s so fast, that it’s hard to see.
It was premature, for when we looked closer, it was not a hummer. It was one of these.
I had never heard of them, and was amazed by their existence. That brief 10 minutes of discovery was eventually forgotten as eight years passed without us seeing one again.
And then, one late evening at the end of August, after the sun had set, and the light was poor, Melisa and I were sitting outside enjoying the evening chill bringing relief from the hot August day, and there it was, again, methodically going through the Bluebeard Shrub flowers, Russian Sage flowers, and the flowers of various potted flowers.
I grabbed the camera, and did some quick adjustments for the poor light . . . the above was the first photo I ever took of a hummingbird moth. Slightly blurred, and not something I would normally share (the photo at the top of the post is one of the later ones).
The second was not much better, but once I realized it was not going anywhere anytime soon, I concentrated on getting better photos.
There are 32 photos in the SmugMug Gallery (HERE), but I’ll limit the number I post here.
The photos were taken over the course of two visits by this beauty. One on August 30th, and the other on September 8.
That’s another difference between the moths and hummingbirds. I can get close to hummingbirds when they are perched, but not when they are flying.
Not so with this beauty. While her flight is not as steady as that of the hummers, I was able to get fairly close.
On neither visit did I remember to take a movie . . . it will have to wait until next year.
The funny part of the story is that hummingbirds were still around. As many people know, they are very territorial.
They would rush to the moth, look at it for a bit (the moth completely ignoring them), and then the hummers would fly off.
I could imagine them trying to scratch their heads at they flew . . .
“Did you see that!?“ they would ask, and ”What the HECK was it!?“
Yeah, no moth there . . . I just like these flowers.
On the second visit I got pretty close (these are not cropped much).
She (I imagine it a “she”) really is a beauty . . .
. . . even though she does look pissed off . . .
OK, one last shot . . .
I will be looking out for these beauties next year, and try to get better photos, and definitively a few videos.
Until then, there are a few more photos in the gallery (HERE).
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Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.