I don't know how long the little hummer was trapped inside my laundry room before Jeff found her this morning. I think she must have been shut inside there since yesterday afternoon. Imagine the fear and frustration. She could SEE the blooms of pineapple and pitcher sage, purple blooms of the tulbaghia, and the deliciously slow drip of the fountain, but she couldn't reach them.
I talked quietly to it for a few minutes. Flight slowed, the hummer examined me, the white's of her eye showing, then dropped to the windowsill, little heart pumping so wildly that I could see it beating from a few feet away. I moved slowly and gently curled my hands around a bundle of life so lightweight that I couldn't feel it.
When I stepped outside the laundry room, I wished the hummer well and opened my hands, but...
...it lay inside my cupped hands, tail feathers ruffled, wings bent, spider web tangled through its wings and legs, and wrapped tightly around its long, needle-like bill. It would not be able to fly or eat in this condition.
Poor little sweetheart.
I ran my fingers across wings and tail, removing tangled webs from everywhere.
Come on, young lady, it is time for you to leave.
But she was exhausted. She stretched out and tucked her bill onto the top of my fingers. Looking closely, I realized her bill was still glued together with sticky webbing.
I ran my fingers down her bill to remove the web, ...
... but the glue-like strands were stuck around it. I needed water to loosen it, but I knew that the little hummer was failing fast. So, I did what any good mother would do, slipped my lips over her bill and licked off the webbing.
She spread her wings across my palm. By now her heart beat normally. Jeff was getting ready to do a movie of her take-off, but before he could adjust the camera settings, she was gone. Her first stop? The pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) that she had been able to see through the glass of my laundry room.
FARETHEWELL, little Anna's hummer. Thanks for starting my day off in the most beautiful and meaningful way. And thanks Jeff, for chronicling this amazing visit.
Love across the miles,
P.S. Anna's are usually found in my California (zone 9) gardens every month of the year. I keep two hummingbird feeders filled with a sugar-syrup solution. Simply mix one cup of water with 1/4 cup of pure white granulated sugar (NEVER HONEY). Microwave the mixture for about a minute and a half. Let it cool thoroughly. I clean the feeders a few times a week with a baby bottle brush and hot, hot water, and refill them. They're hung in the shade so the sugary mixtures doesn't ferment.