Dance of the Hummingbird

I’m blessed because my backyard has an incredible Mimosa Tree. If you have never seen one in full bloom or smelled the lovely, sweet fragrance of the Mimosa on a summer evening then you have really missed out on a miracle of nature.

The tree is about 20 feet tall and I imagine it’s been there for many years because its branches spread out and cover about a third of the yard. It has a bent and graceful trunk and it is heavy with pink and gold blossoms from early spring to late fall. Like a lithe ballerina it sways with the breeze and even the strongest wind can’t snap it’s resilient branches.

But what makes this tree really special is that it is home to about twenty hummingbirds. They feed and sing and hover from branch to branch, sipping at the sweet nectar the tree offers them. They play and perch and sometimes fight.

On the back porch, we have a hummingbird feeder, just a few feet from the Mimosa and when they tire of the tree, they swoop in for a tall drink of hummingbird kool aid.

They have become quite bold and will buzz and hover around the porch as they tease the viewer (me) into thinking maybe I can get a decent shot. And so I whip out my trusty digital camera in the hopes of getting that very thing.

But no matter what I do, I can never quite get the perfect picture. Usually, it’s in sillouette because the light is behind them and they buzz and hover so fast that you barely have a chance to raise the camera before they are gone.

But sometimes if you are very lucky, you get the chance to catch them standing still.

Still, I long to get the little dude up close and personal and I’ve yet to manage that. No matter though, because my joy is in sitting on the back porch and watching them zip to and fro, doing their own special summer dance of the nectar. To hear their little chirps signaling each other whose turn it is to drink and warning of the big human waving the camera. And laughing at me as I wait patiently for them to appear – all for the chance of catching them in my sights and snapping the picture before they are off again for the safety of the Mimosa.

Digital camera $195, glass of iced tea $1.50, can of bug spray $3.95, catching the humming bird in flight – priceless.



I grew up in the Midwest. We didn’t have hurricanes or earthquakes or locusts. But we did have tornadoes. And let me tell you something, there hasn’t been an earthquake or rainstorm I’ve ever witnessed that can scare the bageebers out of me, like a tornado can.

The thing about twisters are that you never know where they will touch down. You can see one off in the distance that looks like it’s going right then it tricks you and goes left. It can look like it’s moving away from you and then come right at you. It can flatten your neighbor’s house and leave yours standing without so much as a loosened board. It can suck up and carry anything in its path.

I remember when I was a kid the odd reports we would hear during tornado season. A woman, cooking in her kitchen was sucked into a twister when it blew off the roof of her house. It touched down and dropped her off (without injury) 20 miles away. Farmers had cows sucked up out of their pastures and left at the next town. A family of four were driving down the interstate and the twister picked them up, car and all and dropped them off 100 miles later. Bizarre, Twilight Zone kind of stuff.

It is a natural phenom that is unlike any other I’ve ever seen. The air takes on this really still and heavy quality – as though all living creatures have caught their collective breaths. As though, you are suddenly in a vacuum.

When it looks really bad, people are advised to turn off everything and to head down to the basement to seek shelter. That may be why there are basements in that neck of the woods. Underground panic rooms, where you sit and wait and listen to the newscast and you try to play cards and not be scared but you are anyway. I remember many times, sitting in a quiet basement with my family, no one talking or doing, just listening and waiting.

We had a family friend named, Marge. A great lady who had a beautiful Victorian house on Lake St. Claire. I used to love to go to her house because she always had watermelon and potato salad and you could sit on her big porch and eat, as the breeze from the lake rustled your hair. There was a peaceful quality about her property and her house. It was like a big, friendly hug, that you always loved to have.
We had many, many visits to Marge’s over the years and it is truly one of my fondest childhood memories.

But one year, we had a lot of tornadoes. They would hit suddenly, knocking down whole blocks of homes sometimes. And believe me, there isn’t much left behind – it looks like a giant box of toothpicks was dumped out on the lot. Sadly, Marge’s house was hit by one of those evil funnels of wind and centrifugal force. The beautiful white house with the dark blue shutters and the wind-around porch – nothing but splinters. Marge was okay – she made it to safety and no harm or injury occurred, but the house was gone. She didn’t rebuild as we thought she might. Instead, she moved to another state and I never saw her again. Never sat on her porch eating watermelon and potato salad, never felt that lovely lake breeze again. And I never forgave the twister for that, nor will I ever.

Here in California, we got your earthquakes and sometimes pretty bad rainstorms, but I’d take them anyday over a twister. They don’t call them twisters for nothing. And they still scare the bageebers outta me.

What’s your scariest natural disaster?


An Undeniable Force


Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever, is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. [Philippians 4:8].

I have always believed in the lesson of Easter. The ascension of good over evil, light over darkness. To reflect on the idea that there was someone so purely good that he would die for the transgressions of the rest of humanity is staggering. Even if you don’t prescribe to Christainity or believe in any aspect of it, the story of Christ must give one pause.

I know that it is cool and hip to bash Christianity and in fact, organized religion in general these days. That depicting Christ as a criminal, a pervert or even a monster is what passes as art or edgy dialogue – but I reject that as having any validity. To disagree with something does not mean to denigrate it.

The lessons and teachings of Christ are valuable, in fact, most of the moral and belief systems in the world follow the architecture of those lessons. Ponder that for a moment.

Though I was raised as a Catholic (strong Christian attitudes there) I don’t identify myself as a Catholic. The reasons for this are not important to anyone but myself. Nonetheless, I don’t reject Christ as a saviour. Even if he was merely a man, the effect he had and continues to have on the world is worthy of respect and awe. And I can think of few who have had a comparable impact on the world, perhaps no one has.

Even if he was only a symbol of peace on Earth, that symbol brought mankind out of darkness and gave the light of hope. How could this be a bad thing? What could be a better gift to your fellows?

When I was a little girl, I always loved the stories of Jesus and his teachings – they made me feel that there was true goodness in the world. Something the world needed desperately and still does.

So over this weekend, while I am enjoying myself with food and celebration – chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs, I will reflect on how this incredible man changed the world.

Happy Easter everybody.


Must See TV – Are We Being Scammed?

This is a long vid, folks – and if you’d prefer you can go to youtube and watch it in parts – but I would highly recommend you settle back and watch it all in one sitting.

While the Global Warming debate rages and the ‘greenies’ get more and more whacko, this documentary offers some rational and sane facts and opinions. If only for the sake of balance,  you owe it to yourself to watch it. And don’t go to that ‘I don’t have time place’ because we all know that we waste endless hours on video games, and other dumb crap that has no importance whatsoever.

(HT to  mbatm27 )


The Magic of Chalk

Beerman, the chalk artist has more amazing entries I just had to share:




I think my favorite is the one with Batman – but hey I wouldn’t kick any of them out of the neighborhood. It never ceases to amaze me how much a true artist can do with so little. Incredible. Bravo I say!


What She Did For Love????

Okay, call me crazy, but don’t they have any psych evaluations at NASA? I mean if you’re going to send somebody up into space (potentially) wouldn’t you want to make sure that they had their head screwed on right? I would. Hell, even if it was just a driver’s license I’d want to make sure. Talk about out of this world. This chick was like Fatal Attraction meets SpaceBalls or something. Jeez. I think it may be time to rethink the NASA program. These folks should be being drafted for politics not space travel. 😉


(HT to Gerry for the toon. Tanks, buddy.)

Seattle Gets It Right – Stop Algore’s…

In what has to be a first – a school district in the Seattle area has refused to show Algore’s travesty an inconvenient truth(lie) after several parents protested.

Memorable quotes:

We have to ensure that our schools are not being used to politically indoctrinate anyone,” said board member Dave Larson, who with Barney and board member Charlie Hoff voted Tuesday for the requirements.


The National Science Teachers Association turned down an offer from the film’s producers for 50,000 free DVDs for classroom use. The association said it didn’t want to be seen as politically endorsing the film or open itself to requests from other special interests.

You can read the whole article here.

I say, congrats to all those fast-thinking parents out there. In this day and age, children are being sold a bill of goods by being shown movies and having it inferred they are seeing fact. Movies always were and always are fantasy. If you don’t believe me, work in the movie business for a few weeks then you’ll see how easy it is to turn fiction into fact.

And just for those of you who think I am in denial about global warming, think again. Global Warming (climate change) has been around since the beginning of the planet. What I reject is the insistence that the climate changes are man-made (at least to the degree claimed). The changes postulated from man-made global warming defy logic and rational thinking. To think that in what – a 100 years man could have doomed the planet to extinction? If so, why did dinosaurs become extinct? Fred Flintstone vehicles – the suv of the caveman? Puleeze.

Okay, shutting up now – don’t really want to get into a raging debate.