Makeshift Hummingbird Hospital

So, how was your day?” As I unpacked my lunch bag and kicked off my heels, I anticipated a typical response about hitting the driving range, making some deliveries, and tackling some gardening. What I did not expect was, “I’m nursing a hummingbird back to health.”  But then again, this day had already been infused with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, so by 6:30 pm, nothing was going to phase me. Sure enough, on the back deck there was this colourful, little hummingbird, perched on the corner of the table along with a small box filled with grass clippings and a mug of sugar water with a makeshift syringe/straw contraption balancing on the rim. My husband was quick to demonstrate the method with which he had been feeding this bird for the past hour. The story goes that the bird had flown into the warehouse at some point in the day and was unable to find its way out. Through sheer exhaustion and dehydration, the bird had landed, and my son was able to bring it to the house which led to veterinarian Bruyns to the rescue.

The tiny creature seemed calm, eager to drink and amenable to me trying to capture a picture with my phone. I have been fascinated by hummingbirds for the longest time. We have a feeder at the cottage and there have been days that I have waited patiently just trying to capture one in flight ~ never anticipating that I would be able to capture one in a complete resting pose. This one had a brilliant red breast that resembled a sequined necklace and a combination of green/turquoise feathers that changed shades depending on the angle of the sun. Its pointed beak was long and slightly curved ~ perfect for draining flowers of their sweet nectar. With a quick Google search, I learned that it is called a Ruby Throated Hummingbird and can beat it’s wings 53 times per second.

As I finished capturing some photos, I noticed the wings begin to flutter; slowly at first and then revving up to full speed. Within minutes the bird took to flight and soared out of sight.

For any of us in education, we often refer to the final three months of the school year as “AprilMayJune” as they fly by so quickly. We have one foot in this year as we plan graduation, craft final reports, and implement year end excursions and one foot in next year as we navigate staffing, create timetables and plan Kindergarten Open Houses (just to mention a few activities). There is little, if any, opportunity to stop the clock, to come to a complete resting point and to be nurtured by a caring (albeit mysterious) individual. Today was a beautiful reminder about, not only the sheer beauty of nature, but the importance of stopping and refueling in order to recharge and then soar.