Posts Tagged ‘moments’

Hummingbirds!

Sometime early in April, I was sitting outside on our porch, talking to my mom on the phone. I noticed a hummingbird hovering nearby, and then she darted away. And then it happened again. And then I saw what she was hovering near and decided that I should continue my phone call inside. She was hovering near her nest, anxious to protect her eggs.

Ever since we moved in last year, there has been a small nest on a plant hook on our porch. We assumed that it was a wasp’s nest or something we should avoid. But, no. It was, in fact, a hummingbird nest, one that has now been reused this year. (Also: really glad it wasn’t a wasp’s nest!)

Hummingbird on nest, April 2019

We started calling this mother-to-be hummingbird our “little friend.” She grew to be more used to us, or at least startled less when had to come outside. Our laundry room is off our porch, so we couldn’t avoid the area entirely.

In about mid-April, I saw her perched on the edge of the nest, feeding her chicks in the nest. While I couldn’t see her chicks at that point, I took her sticking her beak into the nest as a sign that they had hatched!

And then there was a period where we didn’t see her or the chicks and I wondered if something had happened. But it turns out that once hummingbird chicks can regulate their body temperature, the mother spends less time at the nest and mainly comes back to feed them.

And then, one day in early May, I saw two small beaks poking out of the nest!

Baby hummingbird beaks!

After that point, we saw them more often – first their beaks, then their heads, and then their whole bodies. One was slightly larger than the other one.

Eventually they became big enough so that they mainly sat together on the top of the nest, sometimes facing opposite directions and sometimes facing the same way. My husband made the comment that it might be boring to be a baby bird: it seems to involve a lot of waiting for food, growing, and grooming.

A closer look with a better camera (photo taken by my husband).

My husband took this picture several days before they fledged (left the nest). Two weeks ago, I noticed that one of them seemed more restless, fluffing up her wings. She even hovered above the nest for a few seconds before coming to rest back on the nest. That evening, as I was doing laundry, I turned to look at both of them on the nest and, to my surprise and amazement, she flew off!

The other one, the one who was smaller, stayed in the nest for another day and a half. She was gone by that Saturday morning when I looked out.

It was truly delightful to be able to see hummingbirds so close-up. It was definitely an honor to watch these little ones come into being.

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My spouse and produce shopping.

A moment at Smith’s this weekend:

I’m coming back to the produce section after grabbing a few items from the aisles. I find my husband explaining to to several people why and how he’s been tapping on apples to determine their crispness:

“If it sounds like a ‘thump’ when you tap it with your finger, it’ll be less crisp. If it sounds like a ‘ping,’ or a brighter sound, then it’ll be a crisp. Of course, this doesn’t apply golden delicious apples because they’re not crisp by nature.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve come back to find him in mid-explanation after people expressed curiosity about what exactly he was doing by holding and tapping individual apples. I’m sure it won’t be the last, either.

After the moment is over and the people have gone back to their shopping, I smile at him and give him a hug. “I love you,” I say. After all, how many people can say that their spouse gives produce-picking advice at grocery stores?

Friday link roundup 10/27

Video:  A tourist asks if he can play with a group of Italian street musicians….and the result is amazing.

The quiet radicalism of singer-songwriter and activist Tracy Chapman.

On men taking classes to unlearn toxic masculinity.

On Danes and work-life balance.

On the benefits of being a “non-monogamous employee” — on working multiple jobs, having a side hustle in addition to a full-time job, etc.

Odds and ends

 

Some odds and ends, thoughts and moments from this week:

*Sometimes the line between looking forward to something and dreading it is very thin for me. I have moments where I’m like, “I’m excited for this but I really wish it wasn’t happening today. How many hours do I have before I have to go do it?”

*After telling someone “I messaged them [photos] to you,” I realized that in today’s nuances of technological communication, ‘messaged’ could be interpreted as “Facebook message.” What I really meant was that I texted them to her.

*Sometimes, add another few moments of mindful meditation to my day can be really helpful. I generally do a few minutes in the morning; one day this week, I also took a few minutes in the afternoon. When I’m feeling anxious, reconnecting with my breath can be so important.

*I tend to forget that I enjoy woodworking and working with power tools. Granted, I don’t have the opportunity to do it much anymore. I volunteered yesterday at the YMCA as part of a city-wide volunteer event, and we were making playground equipment and a full-size Jenga set out of wood. And even though it was warm, it was nice to be outside, doing something physical, and creating something.

Update in pictures

Aside from the link roundups, I haven’t posted much lately. I thought I’d use a few photos to give a glimpse into my life currently. Maybe I’ll do this on a regular basis.

proofreading books

My proofreading reference books. I spent about half this year gradually going through an online course on how to proofread transcripts for court reporters. I finished the course in July and started marketing in the later part of last month. So far, I’ve had a few jobs and two clients. I’m definitely feeling the freelancing life out. In the long run, I hope it picks up; in the meantime, I’m glad that I’ve started.

morning light

I love the soft light in the mornings. Also, the temperatures in the mornings — and in general — are getting cooler. We also turned our air conditioning off (at least for the time being)! Yay!

tree of life earrings

I was at a networking and vendor event on Tuesday, and a customer asked if I could turn these pendants into earrings. This is the result, and I really like how they turned out.

Everyday magic

A family friend, who has known me since age 8, tells me about how he befriended foxes in the neighborhood:  they cautiously watched each other, and gradually the foxes allowed him to get closer.  He tells me how they showed him their routine paths around the city (Zurich, Switzerland).  He saw one recently and it greeted him with a look like, “I know you,” and then would run away quickly if anyone else walked by.  He tells me how he read about hummingbird hawk moths, and saw one the next day, hovering outside his apartment building as though it was waiting for him.  It led him to a place where there were other moths.  Before this, he had thought they could only be found in the surrounding mountains, but they showed him they had a place in the city, where bright flowers grew.  He refers to his connection with animals as part of his madness.  I’d call it a kind of a magic.

I feel my intuition grow again, like whiskers or antenna putting out feelers.  I find instances where I knew beforehand, even if I doubted the sense.  Sometimes when I dance, I can feel the energy between my fingers, and if I soften my gaze and get out of my thoughts, I can move it.

I watch the transition between seasons, the cool mornings and the warmer days.  I see a tree: blossoms on one side, bare and budding on the other. Recently, in the mountains, I laid down on the ground and looked up at the tops of the Ponderosa pine trees.  The only sound I could hear was the wind whispering through the trees.  I took off my shoes and socks momentarily, long enough to ground and center myself.  In these moments, I’m reminded of the earth’s beauty.

pines

Moments from the weekend.

Lately, I seem to be in the mood for capturing small moments rather than writing full cohesive posts.

Moments from Sunday:

The man – a shamanic healer from the Huichol (Wixáritari) people of Mexico –   says that in his tribe, people can’t be chosen as elders until they’re at least 70.

I think of the group I was part of, where the term “elder” meant holding a staff or regular volunteer role or graduating from the program.  So there were “elders” in their 20s.
In my day-to-day life, I see the word tribe used to indicate “community” “group of people with common interests,” or family (whether by birth or by choice).
When he says tribe, I sense the feeling of lineage, what it means to have a people connected by history, lore, tradition, and identity.  He comes as an emissary of his culture, to share and to heal.

I get a beaded bracelet, and ask him about the meaning.  He says that the themes of the colors and symbols are innocence, healing, learning, and new beginnings.  No matter what has happened in my life, I am still innocent at heart and am always beginning again.

At the craft show, other vendors come and exclaim over my art, telling me I’m very talented.

I trade two greeting cards for a small sterling silver pin with the impression of a fennel plant.  It’s sweet.  I put the pin on and feel the texture with my fingers every so often.  It’s soothing.

I listen to a man talk about horny toads (also known as horned lizards) and how he represents an artist who makes horny toad jewelry. He tells me he’s glad he could make me smile.  I thank him when he calls me beautiful.

After a full weekend, I experience sensory overload and spend quality time with my weighted blanket.   I remind myself that this isn’t about cost, that this isn’t good or bad.  It just is.

Saturday:

At a concert, a woman in the band sings Joni Mitchell’s River, and her voice sends chills through me.  Her voice is pure and beautiful, with a bright vivid quality.

Huge wet snowflakes fall from the sky, covering the ground in seconds.