Thursday, July 03, 2008

Persistence Pays Off...

My daughter can be the most determined individual I've EVER met. When she sets her mind on something she'll follow it through with dogged determination, the likes of which she surely didn't inherit from me.

Case in point: The other day she decided she was going to photograph hummingbirds.

First, here's a little back-story...

Our next door neighbor, a sweet little retired lady has a deck with several feeders hanging from it. I'm not sure how or when it all began but it seems there's an all out battle for the birds going on between my daughter and the neighbor lady. It was all rather benign at first... We had a pole that held a simple feeder. Our neighbor put up a pole with a simple feeder... No biggie, we all enjoy discovering our inner Audubon. When the Goldfinches started coming in droves we purchased a special feeder for them, but not long after, there was a similar feeder hanging from the neighbors deck. When she put up a birdhouse, my husband and my daughter made a weekend project of building and hanging their own birdhouse. When we eventually moved up in the world of bird feeding and purchased a squirrel proof feeder, it wasn't but a short time later that the very same style of feeder was hanging from the little retired lady's deck... This is the point when my daughter began to sense the gauntlet had been tossed, the battle had begun and it was a fight she was going to WIN! It's not unusual for my daughter to come stomping in from the yard, battle weary and say, "She's trying to steal all our birds!" Now I don't know if this is indeed possible but I wouldn't put it past my daughter, to sit outside with a bird list and a number counter to verify her suspicions.

Then came the war of the hummers. When the correct season hit, my daughter mixed up and put out the hummingbird juice... Shortly thereafter, our sweet little neighbor displayed her hummingbird juice, but she'd take the whole thing to another level, by tying a giant red bow to the pole in an attempt to lure more hummers. This method seemed to work, as she did seem to always have a hummingbird at her feeder, while ours seemed to have no draw whatsoever. It was as though our neighbors feeder had made the Zagat's list for hummingbird dining and some bird got the word out that our feeder was a roach infested dive... Well, there was that bee that gave his life for the sweet nectar and was floating around for a week in the sauce... Ya, that might turn me off too. I eventually explained to my daughter that the nectar has a 'shelf life' and with the heat AND the dead bee, it probably wasn't the neighbors fault SHE was receiving all the hummingbirds. So, a jar of new nectar was produced and my daughter waited... and waited... and waited. All the while watching the hummers flit happily around the neighbors feeder. Then, it happened... We got a hit! A rogue hummer decided to c'mon over and give our nectar a taste. And little by little we got a bit more traffic.

Which brings us to the day my daughter decided to photograph the little buggers. Initially she sat inside, thinking this would be the most opportune place to photograph a hummingbird without disturbance. She wanted me to remove the screen from our 2nd story window and however badly I wanted to aide in her attempt at wildlife photography, I wasn't willing to either pop the screen out from inside or climb a ladder to remove it. So, she moved to our dining room table which is next to the deck and a giant sliding glass door. However, this too proved to be a difficult spot for a decent photo. Eventually she moved outside onto the deck. She sat down, propped her feet up on a chair, with camera in hand and she waited... and waited... and waited. Sitting still like that for over an hour. Mind you, this quest for the perfect photo had been going on all morning and well into the after noon... At one point she used some real ingenuity. You see, the hummers kept sipping the nectar from the far side of the feeder, beyond the camera angle. So my daughter found some red tape and covered the holes on the back side of the feeder. This way when the hummer came to feed it would realize the blocked channel and move on the the open side where my daughter could photograph it. Patience and a clever mind eventually led to these:

And here's a picture I took of the photographer poised for her perfect shots. Seriously folks she sat like this for over an hour... Determined and Patient.

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Blogger Stacie said...

Wow! The persistance paid off, those hummingbird photos are FANTASTIC! I have yet to get a decent hummer shot.

I had to laugh at the "war of the birds" between your daughter and the neighbor lady. Too funny. One of these day's they'll meet over the fence and become fast friends I bet...if not a little wary of each other still, LOL

8:47 AM, July 03, 2008  
Anonymous Christy said...

That is awesome! Great pics! I've tried to catch them before, but I haven't managed. She did a great job.

9:53 AM, July 03, 2008  
Blogger scargosun said...

I am realy impressed. Those pics are great and she really worked for them.

10:56 AM, July 03, 2008  
Anonymous David said...

Great story and great pictures. I enjoyed them both. My hat is off to your daughter for her persistence and a job well done

5:04 PM, July 03, 2008  
Blogger Whiskeymarie said...

I love the 3rd one, but they're all awesome.
She and I have similar determination and patience when it comes to things like this.

7:50 PM, July 04, 2008  
Blogger lime said...

that is so totally impressive in persistence, ingenuity, and results. what terrific shots she got!

9:55 PM, July 06, 2008  

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