Monday, May 16, 2011

Humming Along

The Gift
Amazing little animals...
I look forward to the little hummingbirds coming back to my backyard every year.
I think of them as part of the family.
When I see them I feel closer to my Father who has been gone almost nine years, now.

About 20 years ago, when I lived far away from him in Georgia, my Dad sent me a hummingbird 
feeder for my birthday one summer. He said to fill it with sugar water and they would come.

My Dad knew me well and knew this was something I would enjoy.

I filled it and hung it diligently an entire summer in the shade outside my apartment window.
He would call and ask if I had any birds yet.
"Not yet." I'd say.

I gave up after several months and not a single flutter despite living in a wooded area with lots of flowers.

After I moved back to Oklahoma and into a house across the street from my Dad, 
I came home one evening to see what I thought was a hummingbird flitting around the pot 
of flowers on my porch.
I called my Dad immediately to tell him what I'd seen.

The next day on my lunch hour I went out and bought a fancy feeder and a book on hummingbirds 
then rushed home after work to put the new feeder out. (I'd long lost the one my father had sent me) 
I'd told everyone at work that day that I finally had my first hummingbird 
and I couldn't wait to get home and see it. 
Sure enough...here came the little buzzing creature.

But it didn't look quite right...
It was really small and had antenna and ignored my feeder and went straight to the flowers.
A quick search on the internet and I discovered that what I had was a MOTH!
Hummingbird Moth

See how they resemble each other. Well, I'm sure moths are lovely...but its not really the same.
Insect?.......Bird?.....I'd much rather a bird.
I went back to work the next day and informed everyone that is was a MOTH. Yuck.
Dad thought it funny.
Soon after moving to this house...I hung the fancy feeder out that I'd bought for the moth.
Nothing...months and months of nothing.
So two years ago...in July....my birthday was coming up. I'd been working a lot. Huge amounts.
I was tired and really didn't care about celebrating my birthday. 
I was depressed about being another year older and things not being so great.
I missed my Dad but I always miss my Dad.

The night before my birthday as I walked the isles at my neighborhood Walmart I saw a plastic 
hummingbird feeder and thought..."Oh...if I could only have one thing for my birthday
it would be that I'd have a hummingbird show up as if sent from my Dad to me for my birthday."
Just as he'd wished that one summer long ago. 
I bought the feeder.

Now, this was early July, I thought probably too late to attract hummingbirds.
I was sure they'd already all found their places to eat for the year. 
Still, something told me to get it and try.

That night, the night before my birthday I mixed the sugar with the hot water and then 
hung the feeder out on my deck in the shade of the red bud tree.

And I said out loud, "Please Dad, send me a hummingbird for my birthday."

But I went to bed not thinking it would happen, expecting to be disappointed.
I'd never seen a hummingbird in my neighborhood and
none of my neighbors ever mentioned feeding them. 

I woke the next morning...and glumly checked the feeder. Nothing....

But that evening as I messed around in the kitchen, I glanced up just as a hummingbird buzzed in 
and started drinking from my new feeder!

I cried. I'd gotten my birthday gift. 

Within a few days I had three different birds that would come in to eat and then fly away 
over the neighbor's trees.

I loved watching them through my patio doors. I felt like my Dad was somewhere still making 
my wishes come true like he always had.

The hummingbirds stayed till late September. Last year I put the feeder up in mid April 
but no hummingbirds showed up till June.

This year, I put the feeder out three weeks ago when I thought I saw out of the corner of my eye...
a hummer fly in and check the spot where it usually hung and fly off...but I wasn't sure.
But I immediately went in and filled the feeder.

Three weeks had gone by and no birds. They usually eat in the early morning and around dusk.
I started to think that even though I'd thought I'd seen one it must have been the infamous hummingbird MOTH or a butterfly!

This afternoon I was working in the yard and thought again that I saw a hummingbird out the corner of my eye. 
It looked like it flew by to see if the food was there but flew away quickly. 
I watched to see if it would come back but it didn't. I started to think I had imagined it.

But then...this evening...about 6 pm. I was sitting in the living room at the farthest end from the patio doors that lead to the deck. 
You can see straight through my house from the front of the living room through the dining room 
and then breakfast nook and out the patio doors to the deck.

I was working on a little project I'll show soon. I'd just sat down and was thinking...
"I don't know why I bother with this. What does it matter that I feel like I need to change up this lamp?
Does it even look good? I think not. What am I doing with my life? I'm just plain pathetic."

Just then I looked up just in time to see and hear a hummingbird come flying in through the open patio doors. 
It flew so fast...I barely had time to realize what it was. 
It flew through the breakfast nook, the dining room and into the living room and circled quickly 
over my head. 
I thought..."Oh, no! What will I do? How will I get him back outside? He'll hurt himself! 
How amazing!" All these thoughts raced through my head. The buzz of his wings was quite loud.
Such a beautiful sound...much different than the sound of an insects wings. Softer.

Anyway, he or rather she, because she was brown, flew over my head and quickly turned and 
made a loop around and back the same way she came! 
Through the three rooms and back out to the deck.

I felt relieved that she'd gotten out so quickly and safely. 
And felt too like she'd come in to say..."I'm here! I'm here!"

I went out and immediately trimmed up the red bud branches a little from which the feeder hangs.
I thought maybe she'd totally missed seeing it and flew past and into the house.
After trimming the tree I looked into the house to this view....
I think she saw the giant pink flowers and flew in thinking she'd found the biggest flora ever!
I laughed and went back inside and hoped she hadn't spooked herself from coming back soon.
I needn't have worried...
When I turned to look outside again, there she was happily flying and drinking from my feeder.

My Father's gift is back and I'm reminded that the world is amazing and perhaps I am too.

41 comments:

Pattie said...

What stunning photo... One year I had tons of those Hummingbird Moth's on my sage bush when it bloomed, I had never seen them before... they are kinda cute in their own way... have a good week

Pttie

Hillcrest Cottage said...

What a great story!!!!
A hummingbird also flew in my house. We had to catch it with a butterfly net.
What a lovely reminder of your dad are these lovely creatures. I hope your summer is full of hummingbirds. I love it when they fight like WWI flying aces.

JoAnn S. said...

what a beautiful story...I too miss my mom and my dad...hugs JoAnn

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

That is the most incredible story Nita! It should be in a magazine~submit it to Readers Digest.
That gave me the chills, how cool is that????????

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Reading this with tears in my eyes, Nita!
My Dad passed 19 years ago and the void is still fresh. :(
Miss him everyday.

That photo is unreal. I have never seen one so close-up! They are just one more of God's perfect works of art. We had hummingbird moths in pA when I was little! I was a butterfly and moth chaser and collector and will never forget the first time I saw one of these! They are amazing too.

This story is just beautiful...every single layer of it. I loved it.

Thanks for sharing.
You are blessed.
A

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Nita, what a sweet post. You made me cry. I love watching hummers, too. I get excited when I see one on my feeder. I need to hang mine. Thanks for the reminder.

Sunny Simple Life said...

What a wonderful story!

An Urban Cottage said...

Nita,
What a touching story! And how wonderful to have something that connects you to your father each time you see them. Do you know what flowers to plant that will also attract them?

Wonderful post.

Steve

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Lovely story and just incredible photos...everytime a hummingbird appears in my garden I never seem to have my camera handy and by the time I get it the little fellow is gone!

Mrs. Howard said...

Beautiful pics! But that moth is freakish.

lisa said...

Just precious. I am sure your dad is sending them as a way of saying he is still with you. Hugs, Lisa
theenchantedoven.blogspot.com
ps I kinda like the moths - my garden gets full of them.

Olive Cooper said...

I am so cheered by your story and glad it found it's way outside or you would be feeding it INSIDE. Our first hummer came on April first and now we have three or four. Last year we had about twelve by the end of summer. Now the squirrels are eating the hummingbird food and I am about to get really upset with them. I seem to always hear them before I see them.

Mary said...

What a beautiful story! I just wanted to let you know that I'm featuring your pompom flowers later this week on my top 10 picks, thank you for sharing them on Masterpiece Monday. I just started to follow your blog and after checking out this story, I'm twice as happy that I choose your flowers to feature! Have a great week, Mary :O)

oldblackcatboo said...

Crap!
Now I'm sitting here crying at work!
I have to find some kleenex before going back up front!
Geez!
XOXO - Cindi

(LOVED the story though :D)

sheri said...

Nita, you ARE amazing. I don't even know you and I had to stop to dry my eyes three times before I could finish reading today's blog.

Thank you for sharing your Dad's gift.

xo sheri

Modern Country Lady said...

Nita, you are so blessed with your dad telling you he is still around and cares and loves you- what a beautiful story. Need a tissue now as I am a bit choked up !!
Yes, it's true, you have to ask but then sometimes incredible things happen.
Fabulous pictures by the way.
Thanks for the post.
Bea

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

This is the most touching post you've made to date Nita. You're always so funny but I'm glad you gave us a glimpse inside your heart. It was beautiful!

the gardener's cottage said...

love this story about your dad nita. i also esp love the part where you talk to yourself about being pathetic. i have that convo w/myself all the time. don't know what that says about us. ahaha.

we have tons of hummingbirds here. i do nothing to attract them that i know of. i guess they must like the climate.

xo
janet

Anonymous said...

What a touching story! I've been asking everyone I know if we have hummingbirds in the Texas panhandle but nobody seems to know. My sister lives in the mountains of Colorado and she always has them visit her feeder. It is so much fun to sit on her deck and watch them. Of course, I can always hear them before I see them. Thanks for sharing. Jana in Texas

Vintage Revival said...

Love your hummingbird blog, bought a tear to my eye about your father, that is really special, they are always watching over us! They are beautiful birds and a hummingbird moth! who knew!
Thanks for sharing this :)

Allison said...

That is such a beautifu and heartfeltl story, Nita. So special about your Dad. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Traci said...

You are truely amazing and I am sorry that you had even a single day where you doubted it.

Your post literally brought tears to my eyes. I am always so envious when you write about your dad, he sounds so wonderful. Just like dad should be.

I have been working on attracking birds to my yard as well. I have never had any luck attracking hummers and had all but given up when I saw one yesterday.

Great post.
Traci

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

THAT FIRST PHOTO IS ALL YOU DEAREST...the colors are YOUR PALATE!!!! THANK YOU FOR THIS TREAT..Anita

"Create Beauty" said...

Nita, Your beautiful story brought this quote to mind, that I wrote down to remember several years ago, it is by Oswald Chambers, "What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things (and hummingbirds are of the tiniest nature : ) because they show His intimacy with us ~ He knows every detail of each of our individual lives."


Your Father loves you

Thank you for this lovely personal story, sharing your heart.

~ Violet

Beach House Living said...

What a sweet story and your photos are lovely.

Custom Comforts said...

What a lovely, lovely story. So touching. I too have more often than not given up with my hummingbird feeders. All I ever seem to attract are bees and ants.
Thanks for sharing.
Cindy

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Thanks to everyone with their very very nice comments. I will be posting later this week about what I did that I think made the difference in attracting hummingbirds...besides divine intervention. It's super easy....and cheap which is what I like.....

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

Awww...Nita..this was such a touching post. I was very close to my grandfather. I always ask for little signs, and I eventually get them. I just loved this and thank you for sharing..although it brought a tear, it also brought a big smile.

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

Nita, you are the loveliest storyteller. I am always drawn right in. You know that was your dad's hand guiding that little bird into the house, yes? Visiting you and indeed saying he was there. I believe in those things. There are no coincidences in my way of thinking. You are lucky :)

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Wonderful sweet story. It's been many years since Dad passed and I miss him so much every day.

Etcetorize said...

What a lovely post, and your pictures are just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing~

Trisha Brink Design said...

Nita, this is an amazing story! I loved reading every bit of it...my grandparents were avid bird feeders of every type...but the hummers were the icing on the cake for them. I once was able to pick a very tired out hummingbird up with my bare hands and lift it to a feeder to drink. It was amazing! It just sat still in my hand and with its little heart racing it went to the feeder, drank, and then just as fast as it had happened it flew off in a flutter. I envy your lovely hot pink pouffy flowers...and so did that sweet little hummer...but I'm glad that it all worked out in the end :) The good Lord knows when we need a little encouragement to our day...and darlin' you got it! :)

Upscale Downhome said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing your heart.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

I love this.

A good reminder.


Kelly

KC Sheperd said...

You are amazing! Loved the story, and your love for nature..

Mrs. 5C said...

This post brought tears to my eyes, and then I laughed heartily at the poor little sucker hummingbird.
Hummingbirds are such a special treat to have around. One day I need to set up a feeder of my own. Thank you for reminding me. :)

Merrie said...

Oh my goodness sweetheart, what a story and what lovely gift you are still getting from your father!
I've had a very similar thing happen to me only it is my grandfather and his favorite flower, forgetmenots.
Your dad was telling you that you are not pathetic! You are right, you are amazing. I love looking at the pictures of your home. You are so very talented and the scenes you have created in your home are so beautiful!
Thank you for being brave and sharing your story, you have touched more hearts with it than you will ever know.

The Sterling Cherub said...

I love hummingbirds! And I loved this post! Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings, you totally made me cry 8'(

You are not pathetic, you are amazing! Your dad obviously thinks so, too, he is still there with you and is showing his love for you. You are blessed!

Best,

Kimberly

Bringing Pretty Back said...

I just turned the tv on and heard about the severe weather in OKC. Please let us know if you are ok.
Kristin

Bringing Pretty Back said...

I just turned the tv on and heard about the severe weather in OKC. Please let us know if you are ok.
Kristin

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