Greetings from me, Grim's wife. My nickname is Hyn, and you are all most welcome to refer to me so. I have not posted here before, and I shall not often do so, but please allow me a moment of your time to tell you of a small but momentous event in our house today.
I am an equine artist by profession. I have been working all week very late hours to finish up a major piece in time to ship it out today for a show this next weekend. So I have been pretty tired and worried about making the deadline. As a reward for my efforts, Grim (who is a very good cook) decided to make me fresh maple whole wheat bread, baked from scratch. The scent of this wonderful, huge loaf of fresh bread filled our log cabin with lusious aroma! Once cooled, I went into the great room, and to the kitchen attached within it, to finally help myself to this delightful treat while it was still warm enough to melt butter. That's when I heard a scrabbly, tapping noise combined with a thrum - above my head!
We like to leave our front and back doors open if the weather is especially nice. Unfortunately, we don't yet have screened doors to keep out the bugs. Now and then these really large, fat, long hornet looking things, about 2 inches long or more (!!!) fly in and get trapped up at the large bay windows high up above the main room and kitchen. These hum about and tap the glass incessantly until they either find the doors leading back out, or they die. Sometimes sparrows fly in and we have to shoo them out, and other times these cute little reddish wrens hop in and inspect the windowsills for spiders and flies and eat them, then fly out without the least bit of alarm when you walk up. Wrens are very smart about enclosed spaces, so they never get trapped in our cabin. Today, it was none of those more usual things.
Above my head was a most forlorn hummingbird, snared in a thick cobweb on the window sill. All I could see was it's wee little tail! I ran back out of the room and called for Grim - "There's a humming bird trapped in the house! Please help me get it out!" So he came to help and I dashed off to my art studio to try and find something to help me think of how to do it. When I came back a moment later, Grim was standing on top of the refrigerator and BLASTING the poor little hummingbird with a Super Soaker water cannon!!! To put it mildly, I freaked!
I got Grim to stop soaking the poor little, very, very paniced hummingbird. I asked him if he was out of his mind and he said that he wanted to wet it down enough so that it couldn't fly and would come down. (!!!) I tried to calm myself enough to think and explain why I thought that was a bad idea, hummingbirds being so sensitive and easy to panic to death! They have a very high metabolism and can burn themselves up past recovery. Not to mention that a soaking wet hummingbird can still fly just fine so I didn't think it would work. [As I attempted to point out at the time, what I was really trying to do was disturb it so it would abandon its fatal perch and try to find a different route. Not that it worked, although I remain convinced that if I'd just kept blasting it... -Grim]
I asked him to let it rest and leave it alone for a moment while we think of alternative methods. Something like a butterfly net taped to a long pole!
So I ran to find one of our young son's bug nets but found it to be awfully small. Then I remembered that when I was a reptile specialist we caught snakes and lizards that got loose and put them into pillowcases. I went and got a wire hanger from the closet and quickly stitched a pillowcase to the loop, then taped it to the longest pole we could find about the house - a heavy walking stick. If Grim stood on top of a chair, that was placed on top of the refrigerator, he could almost reach the ceiling - it's a very high peaked ceiling. The hummingbird was attracted to the light of the bay window so thankfully it was staying right over the refrigerator and very reluctant to venture away from that position. Grim tried to get the pillowcase over the wee tiny bird but it got pinned and shrieked the most unnerving screams pitifully! I yelled, "Don't smoosh it!" and Grim let it go. He tried again but the little bird kept in a panic.
The hummingbird would land, briefly exhausted, to cling on the side of the big beam that runs the length of the ceiling. Finally it landed against the pillowcase and prefered that easier perch to hang onto. Grim quickly lowered the make-shift catcher down to me and I flipped the hanging pillowcase over the frightened bird, then took the pole from Grim. I dashed out the back door and opened up the pillowcase then... poof! The hummingbird flitted off with a piping. Thankfully it wasn't so distressed that it didn't reccognize an escape when it saw one.
I was too concerned about getting the frightened bird loose that I forgot to even look at it. Alas, I don't know if it was a male or female, but we have many ruby throated hummers, and also black chinned hummingbirds here. They are difficult for me to tell apart anyway. I love to sit or lay down in my garden and read, or watch the hummingbirds. They feed at my flowers and the necter feeder, litterally inches from my face and oblivious to me if I don't move. So I was extremely happy and relieved when Grim, my Hero again today, recued that poor little bird!
To top things off, tonight we heard a noise outside. I opened the door and heard the quite unmistakable sound of a horse kicking or pawing metal, such as a water trough. It was very loud and coming from our neighbor's place across the street. Grim outfitted himself with a flashlight and a rope and went over to investigate. [This is the filly I call "Sneak," because she's always slipping up behind you on the hill to run down behind you and try to spook your horse. Turns out her real name is "Dixie." -Grim]
Luckily, nothing was wrong. The owners had just returned from a trail ride and the impatient filly was objecting to not having been unloaded yet. If she had been down and trapped, I have no doubt that Grim would have done his best to free her as well! That's the kind of day we have around here and I just wanted to share.
Thank you for saving my hummingbird, Grim. And the bread's good too! :}