Today’s October Photo-a-day prompt is “crafty”. Now this is a word that makes my brain want to explode! There are so many pictures I wanted to take for this prompt, but I needed to whittle it down to one. I looked through my craft room and found a project bag from a couple of years ago with these cute chickens stuffed with rice. They’re called Chicky Boo Boo’s and you can put them in the freezer and when there’s a need for an ice pack (especially for children) you have a cute chicken ready to cool away the pain. I really loved the design, and had thought about making one in the shape of a dog and calling it a Puppy Boo Boo. When I do that I’ll post a picture. Seeing these guys made me think of birds which triggered the memory of the time I rescued a baby hummingbird.
It was about 8 years ago and I called him Peeps. I discovered the little tyke one day as I was walking down the stairs with the dogs. He had been doused with water from the sprinklers and he was alive but not moving. He was tiny – probably an inch tall. I looked to see if I could find his nest but it was no where to be found. Our trees are pretty tall and it was a miracle he survived the fall and the many cats in our neighborhood. I quickly hustled the dogs back upstairs and went to find a shoebox.
After I settled him in the box I went to find an eye dropper. I knew enough that he needed sugar water but I didn’t know in what quantity. A few Google searches later, I learned the ratio of water to sugar as well as the fact that the mama hummingbirds looked for spiders and aphids to feed their young. Thankfully (or not, depending on your outlook) I had lots of aphids on our roses and the spiders were numerous that summer. Every morning I would go out to the yard in search of “breakfast”, mush it up, mix it in with the sugar water and feed it to Peeps with the eye dropper. I named him Peeps because of the sound he made when he was hungry. And he was hungry about every 45 minutes!
Throughout this amazing adventure, my goal was to get him strong and big enough to release. He didn’t have his flight feathers yet so I was able to keep him in the box. He slept through the night, but was peeping away in the morning anxious for breakfast #1 of the day. I worked at our church at the time, so I found a plastic storage bin, drilled some holes in the top and fit it into a carrier bag. He sat on my shoulder while I worked, but that lasted only a few days until his feathers started to grow. I borrowed the butterfly net from our preschool and let him fly around so he could practice flying and gain strength. At home we built him a similar enclosure where he could practice flying to his hearts content. Before I knew it (2 weeks to be exact) he was a proper hummingbird with the wings and beak to boot.
The day came when I had to let him go. I must say, although I knew I had to, I was sorry to see him go. I’d like to report that he comes by to visit every now and then, but he doesn’t. I released him and he took off and never looked back.
I found this very short video of him. It was definitely an experience I’ll never forget.
“I remember Peeps. I also remember all the noise he made. How come you won’t feed us every 45 minutes?”