Thursday, September 14, 2017


by Karen Rose Smith

I became interested in the beauty of hummingbirds a few years ago after my husband made our patio a garden haven.  He and a friend laid pavers and I planted flowers around it.  I knew zinnias were hardy and easy to grow so I concentrated on those.  We also planted roses.  To my surprise, mid summer, we began seeing hummingbirds around the zinnias and Rose of Sharon bushes.

The following year I did some research on the flowers that hummingbirds like best and I added hummingbird mint, cone flowers, petunias and phlox.  I also hung two hummingbird feeders in the shade of the deck.  The syrup spoils too quickly in the sun.  I boiled new hummingbird syrup every 4-5 days to keep it fresh.

I hang the hummingbird feeders at the end of April or beginning of May.  Even when the gardens are in full bloom, the hummingbirds come to drink at them.  These photos were taken mostly in the evening when I was sitting on the patio.  I could hear the flutter of hummingbirds' wings as a signal that they were nearby and I had my camera ready.

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures.

In the summer I usually wear long colorful tunics on the patio.  From the beginning of summer to its end, the hummingbirds become more familiar with me.  I talk to them.  And by summer's end, they circle closer to me if I'm in the garden or on the patio.

I treat the hummingbirds in a similar way I treat feral cats.  Patience, soft tones, watchfulness and more patience draw them closer.  By the end of summer, I miss them when they leave.  I'm always hopeful that I will be on their trail for nourishment the following year.

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