The native fuchsias are just starting to bloom. This makes my hummers very happy.
Hummingbirds are so hard to capture when they are moving that it’s nice when they just hang out for a while and let me capture a lot of shots.
The hummingbirds who visit my yard really love the water. It’s best not to be in their way when they are coming in to the water rock.
I finally went back outside. It’s an odd sort of day, overcast with rain expected but no rain. It’s humid and breezy and there’s a dullness in the air. I poked around in the monkeyflower bushes beneath the toyon and found what was left of one of Lily’s eggs.
That’s when it all hit me. That’s when I started to cry. I took picture after picture but the darn focus wouldn’t focus and the white of the shell was too white to grasp. I just kept switching settings and taking shot after shot after shot. Because I was sorta crying and sorta sniffling, Cassie kept coming over to nuzzle me. Finally I just gave up, rocked back on my heels, and turned off the camera.
I stood up and there, hovering just beside the bush, was Lily. No chittering. No sound except for the speedy flapping of her wings. I watched her for 10, maybe 20 seconds or so, and then she flew off, out of the yard.
I’d like to think she stopped to say goodbye.
As is my routine, first thing this morning I went out to check Lily’s nest to see if the eggs had started to hatch. Alas, this is what I found, an empty nest. It could have been crows, though the spindly bush didn’t look like it sustained any damage as I might have expected if such a large bird had landed in it. It might have been rats as I know they travel the fence just a few feet from where the nest is located. We’ll never know.
Lily has been my obsession for several weeks and I’m the better for it. She has taught me to observe, helped me learn to be still, and greatly improved my photography skills. I hope I’ll get another chance to observe something this special, in my own backyard.
Ironically enough, today I am the guest poet over on GottaBook with Greg’s annual gathering of 30 Poets for 30 Days. A poem about Lily is posted there.
Here is a gallery of photos of Lily’s nest over a few weeks. It was interesting to me how she kept adding to the top, like a playpen, and around the outside. At first the one leaf was just barely attached to the nest and by the end it was woven in tightly and covered with lichen.