too many words by laura lemay


If I look out the window, I can see Mount Umunhum across the valley. Umunhum is the Ohlone indian word for hummingbird, and yup, we got them.

The hummingbirds have recently returned to my yard in force for the springtime and I’ve had to start filling up the feeder every few days. I’ve seen pictures of folk’s feeders with eight, ten, twelve hummers at once but my feeder isn’t like that — my hummers fight for it, they battle each other off of it and they hide in the rosebush and then charge out and chase each other off the feeder shouting what I assume is hummingbird bad language. They do it to me when I go out there, too, and its surprising how scary a bird less than two inches long can be when its really really mad.

This last weekend a new hummingbird showed up at the feeder, a baby hummingbird, and the other hummers left it alone. It sat at the feeder for a good five minutes as I watched and drank the feeder nearly dry (“Best. Flower. EVAR.”) I haven’t seen the baby since then, but you know, they grow quick, especially when they eat their weight in sugar water every 20 minutes.