Hummingbirds

Jenn and I were a little bit late to the hummingbird game. We’ve had a feeder in the garage practically since we moved into the house in May, 2007 but we didn’t put/fill it up until the very end of Summer this year.

The first attempt was literally a mess.

We didn’t boil the water/sugar mixture.
We nearly lost several tiny, key components to the feeder (stopper, hook).
We (I) spilled some of the “nectar”.

All in all, not a fruitful first effort.

But over the last six weeks or so as the “season” for ruby-throated hummingbirds is waning and they all prepare for the long, southerly flight to warmer weather, we’ve had multiple visitors every day.

They seem to be most prominent early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
They always hang out in our weeping cherry tree before and after feeding.
They are extremely territorial, dive-bombing one another and any bug or bird that attempts to crowd their space.

Hummingbird chilling

Here’s my favorite photo of one grabbing a meal from a flower on a neighboring bush near our feeder:

Hummingbird Feeding

I was very inspired to snap some of my shots based on this Petapixel post. And while I didn’t go to the trouble of spending a weekend day parked in front of the feeder, I think the shots above show off the calm and busy states of the hummingbird perfectly.

I’ve also been inspired by the recent photography and sketches of Ben Prisk. Seems he’s had hummingbirds on the brain too.

And since I’m linking willy-nilly to any and all things hummingbird-related here’s Wilco’s “Hummingbird” an excellent track from “A Ghost is Born”:

The beginning of the above song make me think of the opening of Guster’s “Manifest Destiny”. Guster, you may or may not know, had and album, “Keep it Together”, whose art featured – you guessed it – a hummingbird.

I’m going to stop now before I hurt myself (or you).

If you’re curious to see some of my other backyard photography, have a look!

Happy Sunday Hummingbirding!

Nikon Chronicles

Inspired by Brody (thx for the Maui Revealed book), I’m thinking I need to take some proactive steps for better photographic health prior to our June trip to the island. I tweeted as much earlier.

Enter Lifehacker and a wonderful post on RAW format from the Wired Blog. Now all I have to do is:

  1. Convince the Missus
  2. Buy a bigger SDHC card (8 GB!)
  3. Remember the tripod to reduce shaky-cam

The lenses and inside workings (guts?) of the D80 need a thorough cleaning. I may do it myself if I can find the kit I got for my birthday or the safer bet might be to take it to Wolf.

And no matter what Duane or my brother-in-law say [WARNING: Flame War-inducing comment]: Nikon’s kick Canon’s square in the ass.

Maybe I’ll even get around to a post-trip class a la Maigh. Who knows?