Friday, September 04, 2009

Don’t think I passed the inspection…

A few minutes ago, I was outside crouched over one of the garden beds cooing at the peas.

What? Look, they’re like…well, they’re basically at the toddler stage, you know? Getting to about three inches tall, putting out those first vine-y tendrils that will start wrapping around my so-called trellis to pull themselves upward so they can become big, strong vines loaded with big heavy pea pods…they need encouragement!

Oo ess a big stwong pea-pwant? OO IS, ESS OO IS!!!

OK, OK, it’s sick and I probably need psychiatric help.

…especially if you consider that I’m “rearing” these things to be sacrificed like plump little green lambs in a couple months…never mind! Whatever! Point being, I was out in my backyard admiring the Miracle of Life and thinking all kinds of deep thoughts.

You know, like, I sure hope the Denizens learn to love peas this winter! and bwa-hahahaha, I can’t wait to start loading their plates with fresh peas! and I wonder which one of them will declare their undying hatred of shelling peas first?

Because if those suckers produce even half what I think they will, we will be shucking peas for about six weeks straight and filling up our own freezer and half the freezers in San Joaquin County with the bounty in about two months time.

And then I got distracted by a very intense humming noise, which sounded like a miniature helicopter was buzzing around in the tree over my head.

I looked up and watched my resident hummingbird as he flitted around the tree trying to settle down somewhere.

But, you know, he’s a hummingbird. They don’t really do that whole “sit down and relax” thing. So he’d sit for half a second, then jump up and buzz-buzz-buzz for a few seconds, then sit for another half second, and so on.

I just crouched there and watched him. Because unlike a hummingbird, I’m pretty good at just parking my carcass and staying put for a while.

Oh yeah. When it comes to just sitting around doing nothing and “thinking” (pronounced, “daydreaming”), I am the go-to girl.

Just as I was thinking it was time to wash the feeder and put it out (natural hummingbird food is plentiful through the spring and summer, but starts to dry up a bit in the fall and then things get downright nasty for the little critters through what passes for winter out here – and the California hummers don’t migrate, they just sort of tough it out), he noticed me.

Hmmph, what’s THAT ugly thing in MY garden?!, he said to himself. He looked down his long nose at me, made a little chirrup noise, buzzed around the tree a couple times while he thought about things…and then he zoomed down and hovered right in front of my startled face for a couple breathless seconds. I could actually feel the tiny breeze from his nearly invisible wings on my cheeks. He was so close he was setting off my jerk-away instincts, which were really at war with my OhMyGod, don’t you DARE MOVE right now!!! delight at being that close to one of those jeweled beauties.

He was curious.

I was charmed.

And then, he flicked his tail and zipped away.

I, uh, ahem. Yes. Well.

I don’t think I passed his inspection.

Ach, well. He’ll like me better when I get the nectar up and keep it comin’ this winter…


RobinH said...

If you're growing the kind of peas that need to be shelled, you may be vexed and distressed to find out just how many you have to shell to get a dinner serving.

My mom only did it one year. Then we learned to like snow peas.

Lisa said...

A few years ago I was sitting on my sister's deck wearing a red shirt when one of her hummingbirds decided to check me out the same way. If I'd opened my mouth, he probably would have zoomed in! I could just hear him--"Holy cow Margaret, would you LOOK at the size of this flower???" It's probably a good thing you didn't open your mouth either! :-D

Kere said...


Do you have any red or orange flowers in your garden right now? Hummers love them. I grow scarlet runner beans for that reason alone. I haven't gotten that close to them yet either, but we had the kitteh out on the patio the other day and one of them menaced her so badly that she hid under my chair!

PipneyJane said...

How about growing Sugar Snap Peas? They can be eaten whole, like snow peas ("mangetout" as they're called here), or they can be shelled.

- Pam (Jealous of your growing season. Mine is almost over.)

Steph B said...

I love hummingbirds....they're just fascinating to me. When my sister got married last year, the wedding site (in the mountains of W.Va.) had all sorts of beautiful flower gardens, and one had been planted specifically to attract the hummingbirds. I counted a dozen at one time before I lost track, and the sound from their wings was like a fleet of tiny helicopters. Amazing little creatures.