That first strawberry in June. Watermelon grown only steps from your back door peppered with fresh soil on one spot. A tomato that is still warm from the sun the moment you bring it into the house. I have never had much experience with growing my own food, but I admire those who can. It must be amazing to plant something not any bigger than a pencil point and watch it morph and grow over time. Then, to harvest it, possibly even cook it (or just enjoy it raw) can only be described as extremely rewarding. We have some decent luck growing cucumbers and some tomatoes, and I have been locally to pick berries in the spring and apples in the fall. But that is as far as my farm to table prowess reaches. This particular blog was born out of watching a bird, on a flower, that I planted. Well…more like transplanted. And it was fantastic.
It involved the perfect hue of pink, and it was first for me. Sometime in probably late April, I transplanted a small flowering perennial that self-launched itself a few too many inches away from where all his mulchmates were, and it was either going to be weed whacked to smithereens or it was not going to get enough sun where it was trying to grow. So I moved it. There was no rhyme or reason to where I decided to transplant, I just walked across the lawn and relocated it to where a little splash of pink or maybe white would be a nice pop of color (I wasn’t entirely sure which summer phlox it was). Come July there would be a new flower inside a bed we planted the prior November which was mostly shrubs. Then I walked away, fingers crossed. Really, the closest thing I am to a gardener is the sign in my kitchen that reads:
GARDENERS SPEND ALL DAY IN THEIR BEDS
Today, a humid cloudy day in August, I watched as a Ruby-throated hummingbird sipped the nectar from this very Barbie-approved plant. And it was magnificent! I could not believe it! And what’s more…the male didn’t chase her away. So she actually got to sip the nectar for quite some time. The kicker is, at one point I caught her perched while drinking. It was so strange to see a her not hovering, but actually perched on the hog wire fence that was protecting not only my newest floral friend, but mainly it was protecting a new evergreen from deer browse. The pale pink phlox just happened to be the lucky recipient of said enclosure, and the hummy had no qualms whatsoever utilizing it as a little sit spot. The tiny wire, the perfect conjuncture for her teeny tiny taloned feet. I didn’t get a picture of the bird, unfortunately, but here’s the gist of the situation:
We do have some coral honeysuckle vine for the hummingbirds to utilize as well and I guess seeing them use that so many times for food, it really got me to see using a different type of flower. I have walked past that pink phlox probably 80 or 100 times since last November, but today, I stopped. Stared. And felt that moment that makes everything else around you feel, temporarily unreal.
Fun fact: Ruby-throated hummingbird legs are so small, that they can’t even walk or hop. Best they can do is shuffle along a branch. Or a hogwire if need be.