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Showing posts from July 13, 2008

The Great Hummingbird War of Hocking County

We've been housesitting for my inlaws, who have been at their youngest daughter's wedding in Wyoming. During the time I've been here, I've witnessed some extraordinary things.

For example, the hummingbird wars.

My inlaws live out in the country--just on the edge of Wayne National Forest and Hocking Hills. At the back of their two acres, the trees grow fast and thick and the hills rise up to give me a poignant reminder of the foothills of the Smokies a couple of states south in Tennessee. There is a weathered back deck, surrounded by lilies and flowering shrubs, a gigantic willow tree and a plethora of smaller plants--in other words, bee heaven. They also have a pretty good sized hummingbird feeder with a colony of fifteen to twenty hummingbirds who feed at it daily.

Hummingbirds are highly strategic creatures. Ignore the impossible speed of their little wings whirring, forget about the flash of ruby at the breasts of the males and the tiny inquisitiveness of the smaller f…