Saturday, September 25, 2010
Once home I grabbed the bags of groceries
and headed inside to prep a meal Blowfish would enjoy solo. I had plans to attend the opening party for a juried show at our local Arts Center. I was a bit rushed trying to prep dinner quickly so I could get on with getting me prepped for the evening.
Art openings are interesting. It is pretty typical to find folks there dressed for a gala in conversation with folks dressed in holy jeans and dirty shirts. There is an undercurrent of competition to these things, both from those with entries in the show and those attending.
It can be daunting to enter a room where you know dozens of people will be appraising you with an artists eye. It also can be very entertaining. If you enter into this activity with a fun loving spirit then a good time is to be expected. These days I allow myself extra time to get ready because of the artists eye thing. So the experience will be fun not stress.
While still in the Kitchen, some movement caught my eye out in the Garden Room. Something was swinging back and forth but I could not tell what it was. Soon as I got the chicken to browning I went to take a closer look. At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing, partly because of the pendulum motion but also because there was glare on the window. To my dismay it became clear there was a tiny hummingbird trapped in a spider's string which was anchored at the gutter of the Garden Room Roof.
I turned down the chicken and went outside.
We did have a week of cooler Fall weather but then returned to mid 90's heat with lots of humidity, zero rain and daily ozone warnings. Being late afternoon it was an oven with heat radiating outward from the Low-E windows exactly as intended. I told myself to be quick about this because I would be hot and sweaty in minutes and I did not have time to deal with my damn hair before the party. ( See Fish Stories 10-15-09 )
The bird was trussed up in that sticky spider's string like a sacrificial offering. I thought it was dead so I went to get a broom to sweep that sad vision away but at the first swipe I heard a tiny sound and then as the bird swung around on the string an eye opened and stared into mine. Clearly there was hope so a change of plans was in order. It was off to the garage for a ladder and gloves to facilitate a rescue. Once I was eye level with the Hummingbird I could see I would need to hold the bird in one hand so it would not fall while I broke the
spider's string. Then I would have to figure out how to get all the trussing sticky off that incredibly tiny bird before letting it go. There was no assurance "go" would be a possibility but I never thought to not try.
While making these assessments I slowly became aware of another movement right before the biggest spider I have ever seen jumped for me. Spider was in the mood to defend it's prey, my size was no deterrent. I did not react quickly enough before the spider sprang forth landing half in my hair and half on my face. I took the express trip off the ladder screaming and flailing. I won the battle but not without smashing that spider into my hair.
You can imagine the things I said while re-setting the ladder and returning to the rescue.
Have you ever held a Hummingbird in your hand? Wow! However that business about being tiny and fragile made it a challenge to figure out how to hold it gently enough to do no harm yet firmly enough to be able to remove the massive amounts of sticky . I think the more the bird moved in it's efforts for freedom the more trussed it became. Mummies could have been less wrapped. Awful. But as progress was made in the removal the bird became more animated, more determined to be free and eventually we reached a point where I could just open my hand and see what happened. Miraculously that tiny, tiny oh-so-beautiful bird hovered in place for a few seconds before flying off to the interior of our giant Cecile rose.
I felt blessed to be a participant in good prevailing.
Did I mention the heat index was in the triple digits? I was sweaty hot, dirty and was sporting smashed spider as a hair ornament. Naturally the only thing to do was turn the hose on myself. I flushed spider from my hair , drank from the hose and filled the bone dry bird bath. Immediately the Hummingbird emerged from the Cecile and went for a swim. Did you know Hummingbirds have a chirp? It's loud too.
Ultimately watching the Hummingbird chirp and groom itself in the birdbath taught me a lot about resiliency and moving on. A few minutes earlier that bird had been on the death pendulum . Now it was engaged in life, having a good splash and making a cheery statement. It might look a beautiful, tiny fragile creature but in truth it is a mighty warrior. Lesson learned.