We have made some new friends this summer without doing much of anything to gain their favor and win their trust.
The hummingbirds first appeared in June, darting nervously around the feeder I hung on our patio. For a very long time there were only two, one quite small and dark, with tiny little feet curled under his sleek body, and a bigger, sandy, desert-dirt colored one, feisty and vocal, and intent upon keeping the smaller one away. They were afraid of our presence as I sipped tea in the morning and then again in the evenings when I relaxed and read or just sat with Duncan, listening to the crickets and enjoying the cool breeze. But recently there have been as many as six attempting to feed all at once, diving at each other, chirping loudly, each defending the territory they saw as their own. I have sat quite still and called out softly, "Hello, little bird" each time they appeared, and now they don't seem to care about our presence at all. Sometimes, in fact, they slip right into the patio, bypassing the feeder entirely to float a foot or two above Dunc's upturned head, hovering before my face where I can look directly into their dark little eyes while they look back. When I have cleaned and refilled the feeder they have darted back and forth in front of the patio doors, anxiously calling at me, ignoring Dunc below them. And there have been times when I have rehung the thing that they have buzzed around my head, actually brushing against my arms to drink from it while I rehang it from its hook.