You know what happens every year on September 10th? The hummingbirds leave. Vamoos. Scoot. Depart. Off they go, toward the southern warmer climes, headed off to sunbathe in Florida or maybe Mexico.
In other words, they desert us. They know frost and snow are waiting around the corner, and they’re out of here!
Why, you wonder, do I say September 10th?
Because that’s always the day we determine the hummingbirds leave. They come on May 10th and leave on September 10th. The males come first, and depart first. Their flashy red and green jackets have long flown south. The females are juicing up at the feeder, reading to vamoos. We saw maybe two today.
Will we see any tomorrow? It’s been such an odd cool summer. Maybe they’ll stay a day or two later. What if the females are still around next week? Will we declare it an Incredible Year if they don’t depart until September, say, 2oth?
It’s always challenging trying to figure out when you’ve seen the last one. You have to write it down and then keep your eyes peeled. Any more buzzing ’round? If not, you go back to the scribbled-down date and announce (as we usually do) “Yep, they were all gone by September 10th.”
Barry said he was perusing the Internet for an article about hummingbirds recently. Although I can’t quote the exact site, he found a place which was requesting hummingbird migration sightings. Apparently it was too challenging. Someone would email in and say, “We saw our last hummingbird!” and then three days later write in and say, “no, we saw one more,” and two days later, “Just saw another hummingbird!” Here’s a website which maps hummingbird migrations for interested readers: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/humm/index.html
OK, I also want you all to know I am less stressed out today. (Didn’t even go in the garden!) But I did blanch beans and broccoli, make zucchini relish and dry mushrooms. Plus we ate tons of vegetables for dinner including red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers…surely I’m forgetting some.
It’s almost Time to post the first blog advertising our blazing red and orange leaves which are starting to sprout on random trees alongside the roads. But am trying to postpone the inevitable as long as possible.
Because it’s warm.
It’s incredibly beautiful weather.
Before putting the wild mushrooms in the dehydrator, I followed my friend’s advice and threw the leftover stems and wormy heads onto the earth, cut in little pieces. She swears it helps propagate the crop, sprouting new ‘shrooms next year. A mushroom expert told her: absolutely not. It doesn’t happen that way. But she continues to fling the scraps hither and yon, and amazing new growths come up every year.
(I wonder if it might have more to do with the Native American practice of giving back to the Earth. They so often teach that when you give back to the Earth, the Earth responds.)
The above photo explains perfectly why I feel inadequate to pick mushrooms solo. Do you think this is a boletus edulis? A red cap boletus? A sullius? Or something slightly more poisonous? No thank you. Simply can’t take the chance; not yet.
I will let you know if we see another hummingbird after today. Even if we do, September 10th is a good day to remember. It’s always within a week before or after. The little buzzing creatures fly off, escaping frost and snow, and we only see them in our dreams until May 10th.