Hummingbirds, Spiderwebs and My Left Foot

hummingbird in flight

Anna’s Hummingbird at the Feeder

Hummingbirds flap their wings about 55 times a second!   The resulting sound is soothing, like a constant heartbeat. We have three feeders in our garden, in addition to several of their favorite flowers. When the plants are in bloom, the Anna’s Hummingbirds enjoy Salvia (we have four) and Abutilon (we have six).

While taking pictures of my lemons for a different post, I could hear one flapping over head.  I took a few shots near one of the feeders, before she flew past me into the shrubs. For the first time, I saw her dip her beak into a spider web. I managed one shot before she flew away.

hummingbird gathering spiderwebbing

Anna’s Hummingbird Gathering Spiderweb for her Nest

Did you know that hummingbirds line their nest with spider webs? They also eat soft-bodied insects when they’re feeding their young. The prospect of a nest of hummingbirds nearby has me feeling giddy.

Footnotes

It’s been almost three months since my foot surgery. If you’re new to my blog, you can catch up here.  Dr. Sheth said I’m actually “ahead of schedule.” She kindly added that she thought my positive outlook and my commitment to following the healing protocol all worked in my favor.  So while I still have some pain and swelling, I have the all-clear for walking again.  I’m one happy woman.

28 thoughts on “Hummingbirds, Spiderwebs and My Left Foot

    • Yes, good advice. It took me a while to get here, and it will take awhile to get back to where I want to be. I’m so relived that the foot has primarily healed and hope the pain and swelling will continue to subside.

      I am excited about the prospect of the nest and hope it will remain out of the way and undisturbed. There are two squirrel’s nests in our orange tree as well, but they may no longer be occupied. Isn’t nature grand?

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  1. Such good news in this post! And I love the images of the hummingbird. Please keep us posted about the nest!
    Congratulations on the progress of the foot. I know that even though your surgeon is pleased (and you are, too) that you’d like to be further along. I’m proud of your work and positivity, and look forward to the day you will be fully rewarded for your efforts.
    Walk on, my friend!

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    • Thank you, Laurie. Years ago we got to watch a hummingbird start to build a nest on of all things our wind chimes. I will find the photo of M looking up at it in wonder. It was a terrible place for a nest, so she abandoned it for a place more out of the way. What a treat though to see her work.

      You are right about my foot: I would like to be further along. But, she told me before the surgery it would be six months to a year so I’m hanging my hat on that. I’ll take it slow and steady. So nice to hear that you’ve had some down time at home for cooking, cleaning and reading.

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  2. I’m amazed you managed to get a photo of a hummingbird and to have a nest so close is brilliant! Such good news about your foot, too – keep up the good work and you’ll be running in no time!!!

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    • I’m really excited about the prospect of a nest. There is something so hopeful about it. Hummingbirds are a challenging to photograph as they are in perpetual motion. I watched one take a bath in our bird bath last year and it looked like it was gliding across the water, back and forth. If I was really organized about this, I would set up a tripod and take video. Perhaps a project for a warm, spring day.

      Thank you for your well wishes on my foot. My running days are over, but hiking and long walks will be wonderful to look forward to.

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  3. Those photos are so amazing! I love the wing blur! And your foot news is good news! Now the hard part will be holding yourself back from running and jumping and playing . . .

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    • Kerry, I don’t know how I got lucky with the wing blur. I’m tickled with that photo too. It’s hard to fathom wings moving at that rate, isn’t it?

      You’re right about pacing myself. I suspect my foot will send out warming signals if I do too much. Pain is a good barometer. 🙂

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  4. Oh great news Alys! Keep up the good work with your physio and I hope you see real progress soon. I do hope that hummingbird nests nearby and you can share some pictures of her and the family. They are such amazing little creatures. 🙂

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    • Thanks for your well wishes, Cathy! It will be extraordinary if I can spot the nest and get pictures. They’re so tiny that I may have to simply hope for an idea of where it is. I used to follow a live web-cam of a hummingbird nest and found the activity extraordinary, especial when the babies started to fledge. They are amazing creatures. It’s an honor to have them visit us each day.

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  5. Woohoo! On all counts. Now go sit for a bit with the foot up. :)) I know you will push to the limit. What a fortuitous observation and great photos. I had no idea that humming birds used spider webs for their nests. Learned something new again today. 🙂 Yay!

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  6. Hopefully you’ll be skipping in no time! I did NOT know that hummingbirds liked salvia or that they lined their nests with webs. It makes sense though–so soft! We don’t get many hummingbirds through here, but they’d have to arm wrestle Brody for the webs because they’re his favorite snack. Such a weird kitty. He loves dipping his paws into dark corners and licking them. haha Thanks for the sweet pics and little lessons!

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    • Leilani, what an interesting cat. I hope you don’t have black widows lurking in those corners. Do you have them in Texas? One of our cats like’s to lick ants.

      Today my hummingbird mama came back and plucked soft down from one of my flowers. It’s been so exciting to see this unfolding. I took pics but they’re all blurring. Boo hoo!

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      • Those birds need to slow down! Haha. We do have black widows but they live in the garage. The house spiders are daddy longlegs. I try to discourage Brody and will keep and eye out for sure.

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        • I was standing in the garden with my rake when she flitted by. I stood there dumbfounded. I went in for my camera and waited. My bum was getting colder by the minute sitting on the concrete stairs but it was worth the wait. I snapped twenty shots, everyone of them blurred. The camera focused on the foliage and not her. Darn. I can see why Brody would chase Daddy Longlegs. They’re an interesting target. I haven’t seen one in my house for ages. I think they’re around more in the summer months. We also have black widows in the garage on occasion and in the garden. It helps to know there habits and the fact that they are both shy and nocturnal.

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  7. You really gotten fantastic photo’s of your winged wonders. I didn’t know they used spiderweb for nest building. I’d be afraid they’d get all snagged up in the web if they got too close. But I suppose they must know what they’re suppose to do instinctively. Can keep my peepers open now. fell asleep twice while typing this little note. I hope I don’t dream of spiders xoxoxoxoxoxox

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    • I can’t get over how lucky I was to get those shots. Everything else I took that day was blurring or badly lit. Mike and I took a class about hummingbirds and learned so much about their habits. That, and also reading on the Phoebe Alan website.

      You poor thing. I know what it’s like to be that tired. Thanks for spending your last few awake moments with me here. I hope you dreamed of hummingbirds.

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  8. You must be so relieved that your healing has gone so well – we’re all happy to hear that you’re cleared for walking again!

    Awesome hummingbird photos – I don’t think I could have been fast enough to click the shutter in time! Beautiful little birds.

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    • Thank you, Sheryl! Like so many things, time seemed altered during the worst of it, yet here I am three months later doing pretty well. Ah, perspective.

      The hummingbirds that frequent our feeders come to trust us so if I’m still I can often get a decent shot. I should buy myself a camouflage suit and sit in a chair stock still. Then I could really see the action. 😉

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