Sunday, October 10, 2010

Seen Everything? Been There? Done That? Wanna Bet?

So you've got this here roly poly 83 year old female shlepping an aching, used up body out of bed on a Sunday morning, wondering if the 3 Sunday football games on TV is enough reason to go on living...........mutter, mutter,  grumble, mumble, shit, piss, fuck.   Why should  a person bother to go on?

But  what can one do  but  ignore the broken hip (mostly healed), the gimpy knee (supposedly fixed by surgery....ha.......) the non working left eye, the arthritic spine and a few other disasters and stagger into the kitchen to check out the hummingbird feeder status.   (yes, yes,  of course it's me.....who else feeds hummingbirds  before having juice or a sip of  coffee even)    Oy!

The little alcove outside my kitchen window has 5 feeders most of which are empty..........a whole passel, a veritable squadron of hummers (is a squadron bigger than a passel?) are doing their whirling dervish dance in the space  between the feeders and the noise is amazingly like a jet plane.   I already have 2  filled feeders on the sink waiting from pre-planning the night before so I fling open the atrium door and rush out,dripping sticky sugar water on naked toes, and hang them in the most preferred locations.  Gathering the empties  I reenter the atrium to find my worst nightmare is realized......there is a jet plane INSIDE the atrium, 19 or 20 feet up where the skylight is located above the spiral staircase to the guest suite.  Sadly there is a gene all hummers carry which tells them that when the sky solidifies above them they must just flap those wings harder and faster till  one of 2 things happen:
                                     1.  the sky unsolidifies
                                     2.  the hummer runs out of gas and faints

I need not tell you that I have never observed the first possible result,  while I have often witnessed the second one.  Consequently, several years ago I purchased a sturdy 6 foot long handled fishing net (suitable for scooping huge fish out of the water into the boat) and keep it handy for possible humming bird invasions. 
Only trouble being that usually they invade the sun room where the skylight is only 8 feet above the floor and quite reachable with the net......what I have here is a near impossible situation...........sigh.

So I retrieve the net from the sun room and grab a stepstool along the way and drag  my aching bones up the spiral staircase to the tippy top landing and find I cannot quite reach the top of the skylight without climbing up on the step stool.  Carefully checking to be sure I have my "Mobile Alert" pendant firmly around my neck, I climb up one step and there I totter, sweeping back and forth with the net in the skylight trying to net the bird while the creature, undoubtedly more adept than myself, manages to avoid every swipe, still flapping frantically and waiting for the  sky to unsolidify.  Finally, after about 3 or 4 minutes of this I decide that if there is one thing in the world I don't want it is another broken something from a fall off of a stepstool and the top of a spiral staircase.  My one remaining active braincell flickers and I descend to a solid stance on the top step just at the same moment that Mr. or Ms. Hummer faints.  Tenks gott.

To take you out of your misery I'll make a long silly story shorter and report that, after a frantic search, I found my victim lying on the window sill halfway up the stair, gently enclosed the precious creature in my hand, carried it outside and shoved the open beak into the feeding hole of the nearest feeder and just waited, praying that I would not have to resort to the drop of brandy I administered in an earlier rescue.  In a few seconds I felt the wings gave a few tremors and I opened my hand to see the victim dash off into the sky which, fortunately, did NOT solidify over him.

At this point I was the one who needed the brandy...... (Damn I wish I could still drink the stuff).......and as I sank limply into my recliner I realized that I had just managed to save a hummer AND live through a brand new adventure.............maybe it is too soon to cash in my chips after all.   Guess I'll stick around and see what happens to morrow.


  1. Whatever gets you through the night...or morning.
    Oh bless our olding bones.

  2. Yes, you have adventures left.

    By the way, invest in a feather duster. When surrounded by feathers, birds or bats quiet down and let you scoop them or move them. Tape it to the end of a long pole if you have to, and use the net to gather the creature after it grows still among the feathers.

  3. You damn well better stick around!!! I miss you as it is!

  4. You know how universe sends you things when you need it (and sent that hummingbird a net attached to your hand, but whatever I digress), I am so glad to have found your blog. My Pity Party of One is so boring, so reading your writing will be much more fun.

  5. I believe St Francis, protector of the animals has a successor or rival as the case may be. St. Lo. Seriously. :)

  6. When you got up on that stepstool, my heart fluttered. Chicken is the better part of valor. But still ... a nudge from the cosmos. Cool beans.

  7. I guess you had better just stick around and see what happens.

  8. Whew I was holding my breath for a second...yes, what an adventure! Probably wise to stay off the step stools, cherry pickers and fire truck ladders but adventure is your middle name. Those sweet little jet helicopters need you around to keep them out of harms way! Thanks for making me smile on this beautiful Southern California fall morning!

  9. Another lovely post! If you get time would you mind taking a look at the interview that went up on Sunday at Eddie Bluelight's blog? (There is a link from my blog). I mentioned you in it (as having written the most significant post I have seen in blogland) and I would like you to see it and realise how much I appreciate you and your blog. :-)

  10. Well, golly. I am going to have to re-read this tomorow as I am on my way to bed over here in europe.. not quite...but in the next couple of hours.
    I am on holiday in my own house these last three weeks so I am doing all sorts of things I have not done for a while...but your post has given me ideas for illusrations. Just this evening I hace filled up half a Moleskine before I even looked at the computer. Sleep well. Pleasant dreams.

  11. You are a WAY good person, Lo. You use my favorite swear words and my fave "Oy!"
    Kind to animals and funny to boot.
    What's not to love. You remind me so much of me. ;o)

    Good on ya!

  12. I would rather hear that another hummer fainted than that you fell off a stool and down the stairs! Yes, that was quite an adventure.

  13. Your detail is wonderful.
    "Mobile Alert"?!

  14. My most heartfelt thanks to all you dear people who are cheering me on. I cannot tell you how much it means to be encouraged by the like ofyou.....the most lovable and talented people on the planet.

    And particular thanks to Happy Frog & I for the incredible compliment she paid me in her recent interview.......I am speechless.

    Many thanks also to Messymimi for the suggestion about the featherduster. I will get one immediately and rig up an 8 or 10 foot handle for future emergencies.

  15. Hi Lo, You are a fearless rescuer..good to the core:)

  16. There is always another adventure just around the corner...

    ...and falling off a stepstool would be one too - of the Lemony Snicket kind...

    Be careful - I enjoy reading your blog entries so much I selfishly hope there are a good many years more of them.

  17. I wasn't the only one holding my breath while you were on the step stool. Don't DO that!!! :)
    On the other hand, I just learned something didn't know you could revive a hummer that way! impressive!

  18. WARNING:

    To Cartoon Characters and other Hummer lovers....

    Use only sugar water syrup to feed and revive hummingbirds. (NO SUGAR SUBSTITUTES, BY THE WAY) I did once add a teeny tot of brandy to the dose before I knew much, but I think it is best to NOT use brandy as a reviver. I got away with it, but heaven knows what his mate said when she smelled his breath after he found his way home.

  19. Have you met my mother-in-law?? (Or are you, perhaps, actually my mother-in-law blogging under an assumed name?) She comes to stay in our house when we're away, to take care of our dog. We hide the stepstool so she won't climb up and wash the overhead light fixtures or dust the tops of the china cabinets. She has stopped telling us what she does at home that we can do nothing about. I'm very glad you have a mobile alert device, though. Can't get MIL to wear one. She scoffs at the notion. She'll be 82 day after tomorrow.

  20. I saw a banding exercise this year. They caught the songbirds in nets, but for the hummers, they had only to put a large cage with no bottom in it over the feeder. The hummingbirds always flew to the top and there they could be plucked out. Just goes to show when your old teachers told you to "fly high," they didn't know what they were talking about. Sometimes victory goes to the skulkers.

    I enjoy your blog.

  21. Well, you learn something every day. I had no idea hummingbirds faint when the sky doesn't melt. The bit with the stepstool was too scary though. Weak heart.