Lunch Line

My doctor’s appointment got pushed back to this afternoon, so let’s get busy! I love the outdoors and all God’s creatures that inhabit it – the four-legged kind, scaly ones, furry ones and feathered ones. I do my best to be a good steward of the environment. I am not a tree-hugger or some enviro-weenie, I just use a common sense approach to environmentalism. Don’t needlessly damage what’s around you, keep it clean and harvest what you need for your consumption. I am not against hunting or guns. Those two things are basic necessities for survival, whether it be self-defense or the need to put food on the table. Hunting within the rules and regulations set by your State is designed to give Mother Nature an assist in keeping the ecosystem in balance. For example, too many deer, and soon the food source is gone and eventually the deer will be gone too. Every single hunter I personally know follows the rules and understands the reasons for such regulation. Of course, as with any group, there are dumbasses who shatter the rules, but those are usually few and far between when it somes to outdoorsmen. I might add that when someone is caught breaking the rules and regs for hunting and fishing, the penalties are swift and severe. Just ask someone who was foolish enough to shoot the wrong deer or keep a fish that’s too small. Game Wardens do not mess around when enforcing the rules. That’s the way it should be. Our natural resources are too precious to waste. Period. End of story.
Moving on…one of my favorite species in the entire Animal Kingdom is one of Nature’s smallest and most amazing creatures, the hummingbird. These tiny birds captured my heart when I was a young child. I remember being at the babysitter’s house one day after school in first grade and watching the hummingbirds zip in and out around the feeder in a contolled chaos that simply mesmorized me. I sat there for hours on end observing something so fascinating, that nearly fifty years later, I can replay that scene in my mind like I saw it ten minutes ago. A few years ago, when I lived in Colorado, I had several hummingbird feeders set up on a balcony just outside my bedroom. I was such a fixture on that balcony that I was like part of the hummingbird family all summer long. I’d hold the feeder and the hummers would zip around, in and out, making that little whistling sound they make while in flight, and drink up the nectar that they craved. There were probably 30-40 distinct individual birds that were regulars at my balcony. I even had them all named, for cryin’ out loud! When it comes to hummingbirds, did you know :

  • the hummingbird is the smallest bird and also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone.
    bullet a hummingbird has no sense of smell
    bullet because a hummingbird can rotate its wings in a circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down ,sideways and  hover in mid air.
    bullet to conserve energy while they sleep or when food is scarce, they can go into a hibernation-like state (torpor) where their metabolic rate is slowed to !/15th of its normal rate.
    bullet during migration, some hummingbirds make a non-stop 500 mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico.
    bullet during courtship dives a hummingbird can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour and can average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour.
    bullet hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds with 343 species.
    bullet hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times a second during normal flight and up to 200 times per second during a courtship dive.
    bullet a hummingbird has a heart rate that can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute.
    bullet percentage wise, the hummingbird has the largest brain of all birds (4.2% of its total body weight).
    bullet hummingbirds have very weak feet and use them mainly just for perching. 

Thanks to howtoenjoyhummingbirds.com for the facts listed above. My Blog Buddy Bob Zeller at TexasTweeties has some nice photos of some hummingbirds over at his place. Check it out. One of the reasons I wrote this post is to let you know about the 2010 Texas Hummingbird Festival in Rockport next week. There should be some outstanding hummingbird viewing down there as these tiny winged wonders make their way south to Mexico and beyond for the winter. You read that right. Hummingbirds migrate thousands of miles to and from their winter destination every year! I know I have some readers in Rockport, so you guys down there spread the word that the Texas Hummingbird Festival was mentioned on Three States Plus One! Obviously, since I live 2500 miles from Rockport, I won’t be attending this cool event, but I won’t miss out on the hummingbirds. I’ll just close my eyes and sift through the memories of a first grade boy at the baby sitter’s after school, hypnotized by the perpetual motion of these tiniest of birds and most voracious of feeders, and I’ll be just fine. šŸ™‚

 Hat tip : PW Miller on Facebook.

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