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Monday, January 22, 2001

Humming Along (Interlude)

When the air is pleasant, I leave all of my doors and windows open to get a breeze through the house. All of them have screens except the front door which I leave propped open with a shoe. Today whilst working at the computer, I heard a whack flutter flutter on the back screen door and looked to see two hummingbirds relentlessly attacking it. My depth perception played tricks with me as they backed off and re-attacked and I finally realized they were both inside the house, having flown clear through from the front.

Finally they tired out and both of them managed to find corners full of cobwebs to get tangled up in, one down on the carpet and one clinging to a crack in the plaster at the line of the ceiling.

I tried gently peeling the first free from the carpet with a dust pan, but I couldn't fight its grip without risk of injuring it so I chucked the dust pan and just picked it up gently with my hand. It flew free and fluttered against the window like a moth, so I just kept my hand under it until it gave up and dropped into my hand for a rest. I cupped it a little tighter this time and set it free outside. My hand was left with a waxy residue from its wings; I hope it recovers from the cobwebs and skin oils.

The second one required standing on the piano to retrieve, and once again it flew free too soon and fluttered against the ceiling (why one went consistently for the window and the other for the ceiling I don't know). It was bound to end up grasping another crack in the plaster or dropping to the floor, so I grabbed a broom and followed it close underneath for a few seconds until it decided the broom wasn't going to hurt it and it may as well take a rest.

I walked it outside on the end of the broom and it zipped off to a nearby tree. The moral, I guess, is don't mate and fly.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com