Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

It’s Mine!

39 Comments

Image courtesy of  https://en.wikipedia.org

Image courtesy of
https://en.wikipedia.org

When I was in kindergarten, my favorite activity was sculpting figures with Play-Doh. I loved the smell and the way it oozed between my fingers when I squeezed it. Mrs. Honnald would place the cans on the table for us to share; this was the part I didn’t like. I wanted my own can. Of course, my parents taught me to share, but I still wanted my own. When it came to Play-Doh, the more I had; the better sculptures I could create.

Sharing doesn’t come easy to my favorite bird, the hummingbird, which frequent our feeder each year. In fact, these feisty, delicate creatures have no concept of sharing. If you want to add some excitement to your backyard, hang a hummingbird feeder or two and watch the wars begin.

The most common hummingbird in the Carolinas is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. They’re also the smallest bird. A hummingbird can rotate their wings in a circle, allowing them to be the only bird that can fly backwards, up, down, sideways or stay perfectly still in space.

For such a tiny creature, these birds use more energy, and eat constantly, despite weighing only 2 to 3 grams.  If we ate as much as a hummingbird, we would have to eat around 30,000 calories a day. They must eat late into the night and be early risers in the morning because if they sleep too long, they could starve to death.

The hummingbird has the largest heart in proportion to its body. It pumps 200 beats per minute at rest and 1000 during flight. They expend a huge amount of energy on their down and upstroke, so they must stay fortified. Nectar, from certain flowers, is their primary source of food. We mix sugar and water in our feeders. The sweeter the juice, the more exciting and acrobatic the wars become.

The aggressive behavior is typically strong in early summer when the birds claim their territory and defend their nests. Hummingbirds are intensely territorial when it comes to their feeding source. They appear to be the most angry and selfish well into the fall, as they fight for their prime feeding territory, in preparation for migration. These ill-tempered birds can be amazing to witness as they battle to maintain control of the feeder.

If another bird dares a quick sip at the feeder, while one is already drinking, he’ll make his move. In a split second, he swoops out of the sky and rams him off the feeder. They’re absolutely incredible creatures. One thing I’ve learned as they return each year is, like me and my Play-Doh; these little guys don’t want to share.

Advertisements

Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

39 thoughts on “It’s Mine!

  1. Loved the way you weaves this post – images and memories and ideas. It was a pleasure to read!

    Like

  2. Fascinating information! We see a hummingbird or two around our house once in a while. Great post — enjoy the weekend.

    Like

    • Thanks, Gwen! They are amazing birds. If you have any red flowers around your house, they’ll be buzzing around. I plan to pick up, The Fault in Our Stars, this weekend. Thanks for the recommendation! Have a great weekend!

      Like

  3. Hummingbirds! How exotic that sounds – in the UK, we would only ever come across them in an aviary at the zoo!

    Like

  4. My husband is an avid birdwatcher and always points out the hummingbirds to us and tells us how fascinating they are! Pretty competitive little guys and beautiful too. I still love playing with play-doh! 🙂

    Like

    • LOL! I think Play-Doh is fun at any age, Maria! Like your husband, we enjoy watching the various birds that come to our feeders and bird baths, but the hummingbirds are our favorite. Happy Friday!

      Like

  5. Hummingbirds are like helicopters! Beautiful and fascinating birds.
    Jill, sharing in kindergarten might not have been your best trait, but as an adult, you certainly share your writing talent and experiences without a hesitation. I look forward to reading your weekly posts. Have a great weekend. I’ve already decided that mine will be fabulous:-)

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Elaine, your comment is so sweet.They are like helicopters, except the flying backward part! I love them! I would say, “have a great weekend”, but I know you already are! Enjoy!

      Like

  6. I loved Play-Doh too as a kid, so I can relate. And how lovely that you have hummingbirds nearby. I haven’t seen one in my area, but others have. Thanks for this great post!

    Like

    • Play-Doh was so much fun. I liked to mix several cans together to make huge sculptures. 🙂 If you don’t want to deal with maintaining a feeder, you can put some type of red flower outside a window and they will come. Have a great weekend, L. Marie!

      Like

  7. This was so much fun, Jill–well, not for the victims of the hummingbirds’ divebombing–but for all the rest of us.
    My mother understood that creative children don’t like to share their PlayDough (after all, some bored children pack their noses with it, and who wants to share that?)
    She also had her own “secret recipe” for making play dough (she found it in a magazine, I think.) It was the totally edible version, and she would add orange or mint or coconut flavoring, divide the finished product into cool play dough balls, wrap them in Saran Wrap and die the ends with ribbon. She gave them to all the children in the Sunday school nursery at Christmas, and one rainy summer when we were all bored, she made enough to pass out to all the neighborhood kids. She spread out a tarp on our garage floor and let us create to our hearts’ content.
    I LOVE PlayDough!

    Like

    • LOL! That is hilarious, Marylin! I remember a boy in my class would roll the Play-Doh into noodle shapes and stick them up his nose. 🙂 What a great recipe your mother had for edible Play-Doh ~ I love that! She is an amazing woman. I love reading your stories about her. Enjoy your weekend!

      Like

  8. Wow, I always thought hummingbirds were interesting, but never knew about most of this information. Thanks for sharing Jill and lovely tie-in to the Play-Doh.

    Like

    • Thanks, Phillip! These tiny creatures are truly amazing. They migrate to the Caribbean and other tropical places, but they will return to the same feeder each year. You probably wonder how I know this. Well, one year, before we put the feeder out for the season, I saw a hummingbird perched on a branch behind the shepherd’s hook. This hook is where we hang our feeder, so he remembered. I love that about them! Have a great weekend!

      Like

  9. You do your posts so well… This one reminded me of a personal experience a few years back – a hummingbird flew into our great room window and fell to our outside table. It saddened me and I went out to the deck and sat at the table with the hummingbird. I talked to it, touched it softly with a finger, and it didn’t move. Tears came to my eyes as I sat and said a silent prayer for the hummingbird… So many minutes passed, perhaps twenty or thirty, and the little fella fluttered some seconds and flew away… Later, looking out the window from the great room, a hummingbird flew down as though gazing at me through the window, fluttered its wings as it hovered, then flew away…

    Okay, I’m a grown man, but I attest to this being a true story… That incident moved me so emotionally and I cannot truly know why…

    Thank you, Jill, for evoking with your post that memory. My very best wishes.

    Like

    • Oh Billy, your story brought a tear to my eye. We recently had a similar experience. A hummingbird flew into our garage and was high in a window, trying to get free. We couldn’t reach him with a ladder so we watched as he wore himself out, knocking against the window. I was crying. He stopped, looking as though he was suspended in mid-air and then he fluttered to the ground and didn’t move. We could see he was still breathing, but he made no attempt to fly. My heart sank thinking we would have to bury this beautiful creature. All of a sudden, he zipped out of our garage searching for some nourishment. It was wonderful! As you said, witnessing such an event is very emotional. Thank you for sharing your story, Billy. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  10. I enjoyed this post for the memory of playing with Play-Doh (which I also loved to do) and the meditation on warring hummingbirds. We occasionally get hummingbirds. The minute we spot one, my husband sets up the hummingbird feeder, although we also have plants around that attract them. And we have seen them war with each other. We may have 3 feeders set up but they will still battle over one of them.

    By the way, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award! You can find details at http://1writeway.com/2013/06/28/just-call-me-ms-popularity/ If you already have the award and/or don’t want to participate, that is perfectly OK. I’m just sharing the love 🙂

    Like

    • First off, thank you very much for the nomination, Marie! I truly appreciate you “sharing the love.”

      It makes me so happy to hear you and your husband are enjoying these amazing birds. Three feeders is a lot of maintenance. We are constantly putting in fresh juice because our birds like it extremely sweet. If a couple drops of rain get into the feeder, they will turn their beak up at the feeder and zip off to sweeter pastures. We have a suction cup feeder that we plan to put on the kitchen bay window this weekend. That is a fun feeder to watch, it feels like they’re in your house.

      Have a great weekend!

      Like

  11. I just love watching birds, Jill. What a lovely post! 😀

    Like

  12. What a beautiful post and I loved reading the amazing facts about their life and behavior. I specially liked “acrobatic wars”. How wonderful to watch them doing acrobatic moves. These are beautiful birds, one of my favorite birds. Thanks for sharing a beautiful photo and such an enlightening post. Take care and have a lovely weekend Jill.

    Like

  13. Thank you so much, Samina! I’m happy to hear you enjoy the hummingbirds as much as I do. I had a feeling you would. 🙂 The more I learn about these birds, the more amazed I become. For something as tiny as your thumb, they are a powerhouse in the avian kingdom. They make me smile everyday. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Samina!

    Like

  14. First , you want to hoard play-doh and use it to shape worlds, and then you start hummingbird wars? Clearly you have a God complex.

    😉

    I should get me a pair of wings. Think of all the calories I’d burn flying to the gourmet cupcake shop.

    Like

  15. Thanks, Jill for reminding me to put the hummingbird feeder back on the porch – I’m missing out on Mother Nature’s summer entertainment! This may be a bit ahead of your time, but your Play-Doh attitude reminded me how having to share one egg of Silly Putty with my siblings started more than one fight at my house!

    [Forgive the redundancy if this is the second time you’re seeing this – I sent it earlier but it appeared to me that it did not go through]

    Like

    • Oh, I loved Silly Putty too; something about the texture of it. For such a small egg, it provided hours of entertainment, plus some fights. 🙂

      Put out your feeder, Shel and enjoy the show! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      Like

  16. Amazing little guys, aren’t they? Thanks for sharing, Jill. 🙂

    Like

  17. I love hummingbirds! They’re so beautiful! I think that’s funny that they are so possessive of food, but it does make sense with all the calories they’re burning.

    But I do think almost everyone and everything has at least one thing that they don’t like to share. I’m not a fan of sharing my art stuff, but I will if I have to.

    Like

    • Hummingbirds are such cool little creatures! Yesterday it was raining, so we covered the feeder with a plastic bag so the sugar water wouldn’t dilute. They were fighting over the bag! They’re hilarious! I’m sure you’d share your art supplies with your sister. 🙂 Have a great week!

      Like

  18. They fight at my feeder and flowers all the time. I love watching them. And love your post. 🙂

    Like

  19. They used to make us homemade playdoh at my preschool and my favorite memory was sneaking a few pieces to eat. It was really salty. 🙂 I’m not a big sharer either. Only-child syndrome I suppose. Hummingbirds are amazing creatures!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s