Hummingbird Riding the Light on a Summer Afternoon

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James.

It was a beautiful summer day, and finally, we didn't go anywhere. We did some of the things we had to do, of course; but we actually did more of the things we wanted to do. Which meant that in the end, we spent several hours relaxing in our own sunny backyard.

I clean and fill the hummingbird feeder at least once a week, even though I have not seen many of the little birds this year. This latest time, I did so, and hung the feeder from its shepherd's hook in the middle front of the meadow, bemoaning the fact that hardly any birds were coming by.

My husband came out and took a look, and he suggested we move the feeder closer to the tree line, where he thought the little birds would feel more secure. I guess his instincts were right. About five minutes after we moved it, this fancy little fella appeared!

This is a male ruby throat hummingbird, who is now hanging out mostly in our backyard. At one point, a second male showed up, and they chased each other all around the yard, chattering and diving, eventually disappearing like tiny green rockets into the blue sky well above our heads.

When I'm in the yard, I usually have my book in my hands and my camera on the table beside me, but at one point, when the light started to hit the feeder, making it almost glow in the late afternoon, I sat with the camera in my hands, stalking the bird.

I was admiring the bokeh I was getting in my shots: a combination of yellow and green dots, moving this way and that as the gentle breezes blew. The camera wasn't sure what to make of it, as I shot again and again into the shifting light, which was both awesome and (I dare say) challenging.

I laughed when I saw this shot, for it looked as though the little bird was floating, with great joy, toward the glowing feeder, riding on a bubble of white light. So meet our little friend: Light Rider, the hummingbird.

I don't think I have ever used this song before, so here is my soundtrack for this image: Gordon Lightfoot, with Summer Side of Life.

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