Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The first bumblebee

Today I saw the first bumblebee of the year -- a rather large and unusual one, maybe a new queen -- simply sitting on the floor of the balcony, where it'd apparently stopped to rest during a brief shower. I assume it was attracted by the nearby presence of the hummingbird feeders.

Speaking of which, yesterday or the day before I was standing near the feeder when the hummingbird came, and I actually got to see its tongue inside the tube as it lapped up the sugar-water ("hummingbird juice"). Interesting. It didn't seem to approve of my proximity, as it tsked between each sip.

And, just to wrap up sugar-water stories, both Janice and I have recently noticed a chickadee that occasionally visits the hummingbird feeder for a quick peck. I only saw it the one time, first sitting on the dowel and then going over to see what might be in these strange tube-shaped feeders on the opposite end of the balcony from the ones full of finch (and chickadee, & junco, & . . . ) feed; I assumed that, finding it to hold something so foreign and strange to its tastes, I'd had the luck to see its one and only exploration in that direction. But no; when I mentioned it to Janice she said she'd seen it there several times, so it's clearly developed a taste for the stuff. Chickadees hyped up on sugar water; now there's an interesting picture.

Finally, there was the amusing incident of a week or so ago when a finch was sitting on the dowel whose ends both support hummingbird feeders who saw a hummingbird go by, come back and hover briefly to examine this (for it) much larger bird, and then zipped away; the finch was clearly thinking something along the lines of what the blazes was that?

--John R.

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