Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Domestic disorder. And hummingbirds.

I still haz it. It's complicated. At the moment it is not only too hot to cook, but also too hot to try to do the kind of 'find a place for everything and put it there' cleaning that is necessary from a) tearing up the kitchen (and the downstairs bathroom, and the dining area) and b) moving out of the kitchenette (and there is plenty of 'normal life wear and tear' in the loom room and the study area and and and...

The previous downstairs bathroom was a small, ill-designed room with a non-functioning showerstall and a toilet placed so that no one ovver a size 8 could feel comfortable there. Because of the way the house is built, the placement of the toilet and the basin was foreordained, so the new version has the toilet and the basin clinging to the left wall. It's now all very white, "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" (guess what image I can't find on Google?) white, and I think I will put an ancient wall-painting on the wall. Started out thinking dolphins, pondering Ancient Egyptian garden, trying not to make tacky pun and do Minoan Throne Room.

We shall not speak about the garden. But black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne's Lace look great, and as an archaeologist-type I like having th house surrounded by luxuriant jungle vegetation.

ONe of the few things I have been faithful about is bird-feeding. I have at least two resident Indigo Buntings, and at least four (probably more) hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are mostly this year's chicks, the size of medium shrimp, and they talk a lot. They chirp when they fight and they mutter themselves afterward. Here was an odd interaction from last week:

The males do a kind of territorial/mating thing wherein they make big (like 12+ feet) arcs back and forth, with aeolian effects from the feathers. It reminds me of watching the big swinging Flying Boats from carnivals. The other day, a male (I am pretty sure he had a red throat) was trash-talking either a young female or a young male at the feeder. But instead of the usual diving and open dogfighting, these two were flying no more than a yard from one another and the feeder. It looked like they were flirting, and even more when the aggressor did a few passes of modified Flying Boat, with an arc only a yard across. Then the one on the feeder, instead of another mildly evasive manuever, lifted up from the feeder perch and sat on the aggressor's beak. Looking smug. She and the sat-upon bird stayed in the air for a moment, falling slowly onto the porch, and after the one on the bottom had flapped a little the one on its beak let go. But they went on sparring for several more minutes.

I love them. I'll miss them when they go south.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

That arc thing is a mating dance, per the interwebs. If someone sat on his beak *ahem* I'm guessing it was a female he was trying to impress. Otherwise, they just do not tolerate each other around food. At all.