Each day I see Twig, the hummingbird, perched upon a fruit tree tree. Sometimes he chooses the plum tree, other times the apple tree. His feathers soaked from the down pouring rain, weather makes no difference to Twig when there's territory and precious sage nectar to defend from his rivals. I move toward him and he chirps his annoyance. I look away, pretending not to notice him. He quiets. I take two more steps down the orchard path steps, with my camera in hand. Just a bit closer. I want to capture the details in his jewel-toned feathers. More curse words are chirped. One more step and I raise the camera. I fire off a few shots. Twig curses again and dive bombs by my head to teach me a lesson. "Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! You are very rude to take my photograph without my consent!" He darts off to the Salvia plant, soaked in rain water. The nectar must be at its prime in this humidity. "Chirp! Chirp! " He cusses wildly between slurps of purple rain. I move away from the plum tree toward the sage to try for a few shots of him feeding. But my human speed is no match for the Indy-500 of Mother Nature. Before I raise my camera to shoot him at the sage, Twig is perched back upon the plum tree. I turn to sneak my way back down the orchard steps toward him again. Our dance not yet over.
Raining buckets of water when there are saliva bushes to defend? Bad Ass Hummingbird don't care. He dares any foe to take what's rightfully his.
The Money Shot. After days of dancing with Twig, I finally wound up with one shot of him feeding from the sage, slurping the purple rain. It's as close to a money shot as I could get. Every day he perches on the fruit tree and guards his sage morning to dusk. He's become a regular feature in that spot in my garden, keeping me company as I harvest the last of the cherry tomatoes and deadhead my flowers still in bloom. I expect at 1600 feet, he'll be one of the few other overwintering here. At least there won't be much fighting. For the first time, there's enough sage, nectar feeding stations and diverse food for the Anna's this winter.
Sometimes Twig gets mad at me for invading his space and flies to the closest but highest redwood nearest his Plum tree perch. Geesh Twig! Get over your bad self. It's not like I'm reading your diary. It's the price you pay for being gorgeous.