Let the hummingbird wars begin

Posted On 25 Jul 2013
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by Jean McCamy

This has been an unusual summer so far.

As we all know, the weather has been both wetter and cooler than normal. The news has been full of heat waves, floods, wildfires and winds, but not quite the typical summer weather we have learned to expect.

For me, the summer has been unusual because my generally busy and productive husband has spent most of his time lolling around attached to various machines — to bend his knee, ice it down or relax the muscles. In between times, he does his exercises and winces a lot. I think he has also watched, or re-watched, all the British detective shows. Such is the life of a recent recipient of a replacement knee.

I have had to do all sorts of unfamiliar little chores like getting the newspaper in every morning, tying up toppling tomato plants, checking the Rotary Club mailboxes and cooking breakfast. Happily, our wonderful grandchildren have taken on such chores as cutting grass, digging potatoes, taking trash to the dump and vacuuming the house. It’s been amazing to discover just how much tending to himself and the homestead my husband generally does.

Another unusual thing has been that we have had only a couple of hummingbirds taking polite turns at the feeders.

But finally, things are getting back to normal a bit.

First of all, it’s hot! Any activity outside in the sun quickly brings on a sweat and the hydrangeas gasp and go limp and need watering every day.

Bob is driving himself where he needs to go, fixing his own breakfast, and getting whatever he needs from another room all by himself. He’s even pulling a few weeds in the garden.

And the hummingbird wars have commenced! Finally, a bevy of birds are squealing and dive bombing each other at the feeders in a fine flurry of fast-beating wings. That’s a sure test of summer like it’s supposed to be.

—Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.

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