Lessons of the Hummingbird – One for the Road

Hummingbird9-26-13She is more than a pretty picture…

This is the last hummingbird to visit the garden before heading South, September 26th, and it got me thinking about leaving and letting go.Β  Joy can come from things we do, not the things we own.

Having enough is always better than having too much. That is something that can be learned in nature.


I haven’t posted hummingbirds since August 5th, in the post Hummers on the Wing, and August 14, My August Garden Rocks Loud, but they were plentiful none the less. They were common too. I was busy photographing migratory birds. The shore and wading birds are less common here, but…

Nothing is wrong with being small and ordinary.


The hummingbirds are individual messengers of “happy” They don’t fly in flocks. They can teach a lesson in individuality and doing things challenging on your own. They can teach that…

There is “special” in the everyday.

I almost forget about my little hummers right here at home.


Seeing the hummingbirds arrive from Southern Canada, I made sure the feeders were full for those late stragglers. Just one day of cold weather or difficulty finding flowers can mean death.

I am not sure where this girl was headed, but I was happy to give her one for the road. It can take a hummingbird over a week to reach its wintering grounds from here if it does not spend extended time feeding or resting. Likely, it takes about 2 weeks if they do have to wait for decent flying weather.

Perseverance and keeping the course.

Hummingbird9-26-13-2Generally, ruby-throats are so inquisitive to be attracted to feeders, but this was the first year they really used them daily in my garden. The dry season made for dry plants. And dry plants made for a lot of territorial conflicts.

Sense of wonder, resolution and adapting.


One tip I learned this year, is if one wants to get close to hummingbirds, wear red. They come flying in to check you out. Last year I posted Photographing a Hummingbird in Flight – Useful Tips. It is a popular post where the hummingbird teaches us to listen, watch and learn. The hummingbird teaches us…

Patience and the pleasure of just waiting and watching.


Hope she made it where she was going…she has much more important things to teach where she is going, and I hope THEY give a listen.


And you know, the hummingbirds are a pretty picture too!

See PBS’s Nature, EarthFlight to see some amazing video and full episodes of birds in flight as they travel the world.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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32 Responses to Lessons of the Hummingbird – One for the Road

  1. Yes, they do teach us a lot, don’t they! Thank you, Donna!! πŸ™‚

  2. I have always had a love and appreciation for hummingbirds. They don’t visit often in our area but I had a visit from one local fellow a few times this summer. He arrived and disappeared so quickly that I couldn’t even wink….for he would be gone. Your photography of these creatures is amazing and I hope someday to have one stay long enough to get a photo of my own. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hummingbirds remind us to savor the everyday pleasures in life.

  4. Rose says:

    Your photos are such a delight, Donna! I spent a lot of time this summer trying to get a few decent photos of them, but much more time just enjoying their antics. This year they spent more time in my garden than at the feeders, so I’ve also learned more about their tastes in plants, which will help me make better choices next year. But mostly they taught me to be patient and to drink in those simple moments of pleasure. I hope they all made a safe journey south!

  5. Super captures of such a quick bird. They teach me patience when trying to photograph them. I had a record number this year, over 20 of them in August. They definitely make me happy even if they are “fighting” over food. They are so amusing to watch…almost like children.

  6. Hope says:

    That is awesome photography!!!

  7. Ohh what gorgeous photos, these little hummers are one of my favorite birds and we dont get them in the UK. Thanks so much for sharing them, they make me happy too to just see such great piks of them. x

  8. Patrick says:

    Just gorgeous, my dear friend. That top image appears divine with its ephemeral beauty.

  9. lemanshots says:

    Wirklich sehr schΓΆn! πŸ™‚

  10. Beautiful shots! We absolutely love our one hummingbird and ‘her’ love of our salvias. I say one since every time another hummingbird comes into our gardens she chases them away. πŸ™‚

  11. pepaulmier says:

    We were very blessed this summer, here in southeastern Canada, we had several of them come to the feeder and at least 3 must have nested not far because we saw them all the time.

  12. A.M.B. says:

    Great lessons and great pictures! Hummingbirds are so beautiful. I’ve seen them in the garden, but I’ve never had a feeder for them. I should correct that by the time the season rolls around again!

  13. Pat says:

    They are little miracles.

  14. Wonderful shots and post

  15. Hummingbirds are to me such a symbol of love and magic:)! This picture took my breath away! Thank you for sharing it :)!

  16. Fantastic pictures of the hummingbirds! We saw more in the garden this year than ever before, though I don’t have a feeder for them. However, they liked feeding on a mix of annual and hardy plants – trumpet honeysuckle, Pentas, Monarda, Cuphea, etc. Thanks for the tip about wearing red! I have two red tshirts, I’ll have to wear them a lot more next summer.

  17. I was a little choked up reading this post. I miss the hummingbirds. With the new perching feeder I put up, it was a lot easier to watch them and get attached to them. I’ve always had a feeder and the Fuchsias–which they seem to enjoy. But the perching feeder made it so much more fun to watch them. And like Jason, I had more here than every before. Can’t wait to see them again next spring! Amazing photos, Donna. You can almost sense the little one’s personality. πŸ™‚

  18. Well you hit on two of my favorite things with this one–hummingbirds and the Emily Dickinson poem about hope. I love the line about hummers being individual messengers of “happy.” What a great way to describe them. Very nice post and photos. Blessings, Natalie

  19. Gesine says:

    Dear Donna, such nice pictures!!! I love hummingbirds but we do not have them in Europe. The only time I saw them was in the Caribbean, and I was so surprised how small they are! Like a butterfly! Thanks for all the information you gave me with your post!

  20. Lovely photo and story.

  21. lucindalines says:

    You make me want to set up a feeder next year, but I am always hesitant because I don’t want to attract them only to have a cat get them.

  22. bittster says:

    Awesome pictures, I’m always happy enough just to get a hummingbird glimpse, let alone enough time to get a picture!

  23. Pingback: A couple of bird pictures to start Your Week… | I see beauty all around by rob paine

  24. Denise says:

    The video is not available in our region due to right restrictions 😦 But your photographs are also amazing.

  25. Robert Smith says:

    Very nice pics.

  26. I adore my hummers and put up feeders even though they had plenty of flowers…they used the feeders and especially in late September as they readied to head South. I miss them already…fabulous lessons to learn from these lovely creatures.

  27. Fergiemoto says:

    I love your hummer photos and the words of wisdom!

  28. cindy knoke says:

    Hello my friend. Did you suggest a Hummingbird photo contest to me? I would like to enter but appear to have lost the link. If you have I would be most grateful! Thank you for thinking of me & cheers!

  29. I don’t have a hummingbird feeder, but in Lowe’s the other day I pointed out a nice glass one to my wife, hinting it would make a nice Christmas gift. Do you make your own nectar?

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