Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Operation Hummingbird

Sometimes nature is cruel to animals and makes you weep as when we watched little baby peregrine falcons hatch and then die because of a sudden drop in temperature. Then sometimes it is not nature but man that causes the pain and it again makes you want to cry; yet, there is often reason for joy when nature takes control and an unconquerable spirit soars.

Yesterday when M and I went out to water the garden, I heard a buzzing sound coming from the cherry tree. Upon investigation, I saw a small hummingbird caught in the net we have put around the tree. What was to protect the cherries from bigger birds was now a trap for a beautiful hummingbird. I felt horrible and didn't know what to do. I called Steve at work and asked if he could come home early to help me. I didn't want to face a wounded bird alone. Yet he couldn't leave as the next bus wasn't for awhile. I then decided to call home as moms can fix anything. Mom asked if she could take a few minutes to think about what should be done. In the course of our conversation it was decided that she would try calling someone in the wildlife department and I would get the ladder, gloves, scissors to cut the net, a box to put the bird in and a special drink made for hummingbirds.

I went back outside and told the girls they needed to be quiet as we didn't want to startle the hummingbird even more than what it already was. E was given the phone and told to answer it right away if it rang. T and M were to make sure the box and drink were ready. I climbed the ladder and the hummingbird started beating it's wings frantically when it saw me approach. I tried to calm it down by speaking quietly to it and told it what I was going to do. I started clipping the net and had my gloved hand ready to hold the tiny, frightened bird. It was gorgeous with a dark purple band around its neck contrasted against the black head and light gray body. As I was clipping, I noticed that its little wing was caught on one of the net's strings so carefully I clipped the net--careful not to clip the bird. As soon as I cut it, the bird was free. I had no time to grab the bird but it was still on the inside part of the net. I told the girls they needed to see where it went. They ran around to the back and saw it up high. It would try to fly straight into the net trying to get out. But it would fly right into the net and then fly back. What had I done? I made a bad situation get possibly worse. Then as we tried to shake the net in hopes that it would fly out the top an amazing thing happened; the little bird flew right in between the netting squares and up and over our tall tree in the front of the house.

Prayers of gratitude were given that the little hummingbird could fly and was free with prayers of hope that it would be alright.

The girls and I were ecstatic to see the little black speck fly higher and further away. What a brave little bird!

1 comment:

jennifer said...

This was beautiful. Your girls will undoubtedly remember this experience their whole lives, and it will remind them of their loving mother.

I once was lamenting that we weren't able moneywise to put my kids in sports leagues, lessons and the like -- all the stuff a mom can feel guilty about not doing.

That very day five- or six-year-old Kyle was beside me in the garden. We heard a buzzing coming from a yellow tulip where, inside, a bee was trapped. Its legs were so full of pollen that it couldn't fly back up past the tulip's stamen. Together Kyle and I gently tipped the flower so the bee could fly free.

It was such a simple experience, yet profound in its timely reminder that money for sports or not, I was home with my children, and that's what mattered most.

Kyle remembers this still.

Glad I found your blog! I saw your photos on Marisa's site, and they are gorgeous!

Jennifer Hatch

P.S. What country are you doing this Christmas?