In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

hummingbird summer

There have been hummingbirds here each of the past three summers. But it was only this summer that we added a hummingbird feeder. Now a pair visits the feeder quite frequently. We first noticed their presence on May 31st. They had arrived after their astonishing journey -- I think theirs is the longest flight of any migratory bird that spends summers here.If you sit quietly they will let you take their picture. First you hear a very loud humming: the female's wings beating the air. Then she arrives inside the camera's frame.
Outside the camera's frame, the rams are walking up the path from the lower orchard to the front yard. Greg is rowing across the cove after checking the gillnet. The white throated sparrow is singing. The toads are trilling.

Why do these hummingbirds travel every year all the way from Central America to Nova Scotia? What makes them return to this particular place? It's a mystery. I couldn't even tell you where they are nesting, though we think it's in the skeleton forest just north of the house, which is a good place for keeping secrets.

It's a long evening. The sun won't set for another couple of hours. And there's plenty of time for sipping the sweetness of summer.


Piecefulafternoon said...

Ahhh a lovely day.

dobbsthrush said...

I love the fact that your ruby throated hummingbirds are so approachable---maybe they just haven't seen human beings very much on McNutts. I found a hummingbird going to her nest in a bare branch of a white spruce yesterday---so perfectly camoflaged in the woods---the nest made of lichen the same as the branch was covered. Perfect! The arctic tern is probably our longest distance breeder---30,000 miles! Hope to see you soon, Jane Alexander

Anne Yarbrough said...

Jane, you actually followed a hummingbird back to its nest?! Amazing. Please come to McNutt's as soon as you can & identify these terns, as I am not at all sure what kinds are here.