outdoor stove has its drawbacks. When making jam, best not to wear a
red shirt. A combination of that color and the rolling boil of sugar
does something to the sensory receptors in the minds of Humming
Near to the location of the stove
is a borderland of male Humming Bird territories. I guess there are
two nesting sites close by. One out beyond the barn, near the far
Cedar trees. The other behind the house near the trumpet vine.
Occasionally the males loudly startle each other in the vegetable garden.
I had anticipated a challenge from flies
and Carpenter Bees, but not from Humming Birds. The former two
accidents in the kingdom of flying creatures one can swat without any great
remorse and with an occasional success. The Humming Bird, I
discovered, when around a red shirt and boiling sugar, does not respond to
any form of human aggression. He becomes like Aldous Huxley on
mescaline. Fascinated by everything he sees, and yet without sense of
personal space or territory.
There were four or five of them
attempting to lick nectar off me. A performance that did not set a
good example for a young Mockingbird experimenting with clover blooms while
his parent sang arias from the vocabulary of an anxious Wren.
The jam itself is so far a dismal
failure, my sinuses are struggling from many hours around wood smoke and
Humming Birds have acquired a sinister hue in what remains of my other
Tomorrow I will sneak into the grocery
store to buy pectin, because jam is spread not poured.