My interest has now broadened to include pollinators in general. A couple of summers ago, I found this book in the gift shop at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California:
I've recently come into a relationship with hummingbirds. An old Native man that I met one day at Wal Mart, of all places, asked me to give him my open palm, and he held his hand over mine and told me he was giving me hummingbird energy. I didn't think much of it at the time, except that an immediate feeling of peace and joy came over me. A couple of weeks later, though, I went on a private camping retreat at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort in the Carson Forest. There were more hummingbirds there than I have ever seen in my life. I was sitting on the second floor of the lodge having lunch in the snack bar, and I looked out the window at the tall pines. There were many tiny birds in the branches, which I didn't immediately recognize as hummingbirds because they were sitting still. When I walked out onto the balcony, one flew right up to me at eye level and hovered there for a few moments, long enough for me to say Hi. Thanks for coming.
That same week, there was a bat nestled above my front door for a couple of days. (I didn't even know bats were pollinators until I started reading that book.) And that was also the week I started walking to San Francisco de Asis (see previous post). There are beds of fragrant purple flowers lining the walkway of the church, and this is where I like to sit when I'm there, in front of the statue of St. Clare. While I was there that first evening, an abundance of tiny winged creatures started flitting through the flowers. At first I thought they were hummingbirds, but they were smaller and more insect-like. They were also less concerned about my presence than hummingbirds would have been. Several flew around me and sucked nectar from flowers right next to me. Sometimes one would be so close I could watch the long proboscis straighten out into a blossom like a fishing line into a river, then quickly curl up into the creature's mouth. I can only describe the feeling they evoked in me as goofy euphoria. When I went home I looked them up and found out that they're called hummingbird hawk moths. This is what they look like:
Unfortunately, I had to snag this pic from Photobucket, because by the time I got around to trying to take my own photos of them, they had stopped coming around. But that's a story for another day.