Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sometimes, If You Stand Quietly In the Garden

You'll see exactly what you need to see.
No one can tell you what that is.


It could be the sun rising


or a perfect bumblebee dangling from an imperfectly perfect flower.

It might be a butterfly sipping nectar.
You'll know it when it happens.


This morning I saw a hummingbird in my garden...
It was exactly what I needed to see.


The garden has been struggling during this long, hot summer and so has the gardener. But, seeing that hummingbird made my heart soar. I knew in that instant that it was worth all the hard work it has taken to keep this garden half alive. I stood as quietly as I could and took in the wonder of that tiny creature. A creature whose heart beats as fast as 1,260 beats every minute and whose wings move as much as 80 times a second with normal flight.* With so much energy used, that tiny little creature needs to refuel his body often, up to eight times an hour and he was visiting my garden! He was nectaring on the agastache I planted in containers so it would survive clay and limestones notorious poor drainage. He was visiting the cardinal flower that I give extra gulps of water to...He even stopped to check out the Cup Plant. He was visiting my flowers!

It was exactly what I needed to see and it was exactly what I needed to feel. Some lessons come to us exactly as they are supposed to...

xxoogail

*source

37 comments:

  1. dear Gail, I felt like I was reading a poem as I read your post. My little hummer buzzed me last evening for standing too close to the feeder in Her garden. She s quite bossy and makes me laugh.

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  2. Simply Stunning shots!
    The bumblebee added beauty to the beauty.

    Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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  3. Lovely macros. I have to agree, the wildlife is what keeps me in the garden during these hot, dry days. Hummingbirds, chickadees, garter snakes, mason bees, a cloudless sulphur butterfly; 've seen all these things living in my garden this week, giving me the will to keep on keeping on.

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  4. What a peaceful feeling came over me as I read this...thank you! Last night a hummer came and hovered about 2 feet from me as I held the hose to fill the fountain with fresh water. When I turned to look better she flew off. But it made me happy to see her also!

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  5. I also love these unexpected moments when I stop weeding, stop walking, or stop doing...and look and listen to the garden. Your surprises were so wonderfully exciting in that quiet and appreciative way.

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  6. That really makes all the hard work and effort worth it. While I've seen hummers in my yard, I've yet to see one visiting my flowers. I'm sure they do, but I'm still waiting for that moment. I guess I need to follow your example and stand quietly in the garden. Too bad that's so hard to do.

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  7. Beautifully said. In spite of all the work I have due before GWA, I went out in the garden this morning and was rewarded with so much beauty, it made my heart soar. I am grateful the garden is making it through this horrible heat. So glad yours is too.

    BTW, I've had more hummingbirds this year than every. I think it is the morning glories. xoxo~~Dee

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  8. Your photos and words were exactly what I needed to see, dear Gail. Eloquently to the point. The hummers, even just the sound of them, the vibration and hum, raises my spirits like few things can.
    xxxooo
    Frances

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  9. What an inspiring post! Your photos are magnificent, Gail, and the message so true. Too often I look at the garden and see the weeds and all the undone chores, rather than the beauty. But you are so right--every time I see a hummingbird or a butterfly, I pause and my spirits are lifted.

    I attended a lecture on hummingbirds a few weeks ago--they are such amazing little birds, aren't they? I can't seem to keep my feeders filled this summer, but they seem to enjoy my flowers just as much as any prepared nectar.

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  10. Oh, you had the same wonderful experience I had a few days ago! A hummer actually perched on a rudbeckia maxima stem for 5-10 seconds before visiting some agastache. I whispered "thank you god." It was one of those serendipitous moments that, maybe, isn't serendipitous at all--as you well know.

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  11. One does wonder on hot days while dragging the hoses why in the world am I doing all of this.LOL! Then something like your touch of sunlight filtering in is just so pretty that it makes you peaceful again and reminds us why. The butterfly sipping from the bloom is just so pretty Gail. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  12. seeing what i need to see and hearing what i need to hear ... that's why i can't walk through my garden in the morning without smiling and feeling my heart sing. beautiful post!

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  13. Congrats on your hummer Gail. They are a joy to watch. Beautiful photos and wonderful thoughts today.

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  14. Your exquisite photos delight us, Gail- and your words speak both to and for many of us this year! We've given up any idealized versions of beauty and are just trying to keep our flying friends alive.

    Thank you,

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  15. You are oh so right about the garden giving us so much in return for our efforts. Have a great weekend Gail.

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  16. Isn't it wonderful ? I personally enjoy early mornings when humans are quietly sleeping and the magic of the garden comes alive.

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  17. These are an amazing group of photos Gail. So pretty, not just one can be a favorite.

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  18. Those hummers are pretty cool! They've been filling up on our Black and Blue Salvia. I never have to put out feeders - just plant the plants!

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  19. black and blues here too. One hummer visit here, but it just as well be 10. Just special. I understand your language. Well written.g.

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  20. We've got hummingbirds out the wazoo here. I've been keeping the garden watered for the bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds.

    It seems like each summer is getting hotter than the last.

    Love the shot of the bee on the sunflower.

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  21. Wow I love your photos and the whole style of your posts, inspiring!

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  22. What an inspiring way to start my morning. I love those moments in the garden! My garden gives so much back to me especially during these dog days of summer. I love all the creatures that are alive and thriving in the garden.

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  23. Beautiful photos - and great words to go with them. If you plant them, they will come!

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  24. They really make gardening worthwhile, don't they? I've think I've seen more this year than ever before. I just love them!

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  25. I can relate on the hot year and tired gardener. I had some similar sightings this weekend. Just what I needed.

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  26. So true, Gail! I had a moment just like that last year when I saw a hummingbird at my cardinal flowers. Such a special moment!

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  27. "He was visiting MY flowers."

    I know what you mean, Gail. There is something extremely gratifying about bees and hummers visiting the flowers. Giving them sustenance is like a gift to oneself.

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  28. Love that a sweet hummingbird cheered you up in a challenging time. I've got hummingbirds at my windows, probably looking for the previous owners' feeders, so went out to buy something blooming for them!

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  29. The hummingbirds give me so much joy! Whenever I see them visiting my flowers, I stop what I'm doing to watch. I will always be awestruck at the sight of a hummingbird or a butterfly.

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  32. I enjoyed your lovely post. I've been too pooped after work to garden lately, but, like I mentioned on FB, I have been going out for a few minutes at a time, and watching the butterflies and bees. I have also seen either a hummingbird twice, or 2 different ones on the agastache and some other blooms.

    I hope this is written OK, I am having trouble staying awake.

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  33. Great photos and sentiments about gardening.

    Our hummingbirds are having rather scary wars over blooms and feeders. Fortunately, my salvias came out with blooms again after our one big recent rain.

    Have you tried eupatorium altissimum (tall white boneset)? I'm trying one for deer resistance and I'm in love with this native!

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  34. Such a beautiful post Gail. There are few things so nurturing, sustaining, and rewarding as quietly enjoying the creatures nurtured and sustained in our gardens.

    There is such beauty and wisdom in nature, especially when we're able and willing to slow down, be still, look, listen, absorb, and reflect.

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  35. Gail, thank you for putting into words and pictures what I so often experience in my own garden.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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