Two Days With a New Friend

July 22, 2013

After we got home from the Pleasanton Tri For Fun, I was excited to tear into my weekend bike project. I had gotten a new driveline (gears, cranks, shifters, chain etc) for my bike to upgrade what came on the bike originally. I had been planning it out all week, and Saturday was the day that I could execute the plan.

A couple of hours into the project, I was working at the bench in the garage when I heard the familiar thrum of a hummingbird nearby. Sure enough, a little grey and green hummingbird was in the garage with me. It seemed disoriented, flitting around the rafters and lights somewhat haphazardly. I tried to shoo it outside, but it's a hummingbird -- no way a person can keep up with one of those little guys. So I continued working on my project, disassembling the bike nearly completely, cleaning stuff up, and installing the new parts. The hummingbird would occasionally chirp and whiz by my head as I was working.

I finished the project in the afternoon, and left the garage door open hoping my friend would fly out, back to his tree or bush or wherever he normally stayed. I checked back at night, and he was still there! So I left the garage open for a couple of more hours, turning off all the lights so that perhaps he would be attracted to the light outside.

I checked again before bed, and didn't see or hear him in there. I was glad that it seemed he had made his way out, so I shut the garage door and turned in for the night.

In the morning I wanted to tinker a bit on the bike, so I went back to the garage and opened it. My buddy was still in there, but flying even more erratically. I grabbed a broom to try to get him to go outside. No dice. He ran into a little nut and bolt storage thing on the wall and kind of tumbled down and collected himself on the edge of a case of motor oil.

Well, here was the opportunity to trap him and take him outside. I found a styrofoam container and shooed him in there. This time he didn't put up much of a fight and he just sat in there, not trying to fly away.

The girls got involved at this point and were really curious about the hummingbird. They had never seen one so close before, and wanted to hold it. Naomi even wondered aloud if she could dress him up!

We took him out of the garage and set him in his box under a shady tree. I thought for sure he would fly out and live the hummingbird life, but he just sat there. I guessed that he was dehydrated and needed food, so Naomi and I rushed inside and filled a little lid with sugar mixed with water. We brought it out to him to find that Marina had given him a flower to lift his spirits.

He just perched on the lid, but didn't try to drink the water. I thought that I could help him out if I could get a drop of the sugary water on my finger and put it in front of his beak then surely he would drink it and fly away to frolic with his other hummingbird friends.

I could see and feel his needle-like tongue come out from his tiny beak to lap up the water. The droplet on my finger disappeared, and he spent a good deal of time swallowing it. We repeated that a few times and we all gained hope that he would live his hummingbird dream of hovering in front of flowers and dive bombing birds who dared perch on his tree.

Instead, he just sat there. He didn't try to drink on his own. I thought that maybe he just needed a bit of time to process the sugary goodness we gave him, so back to our projects we went. I took the girls to Arti's mom's to spend the day, and then came back home.

The first thing I did was to check on Mr. Hummingbird. He was still perched on the lid, head high, but not trying to leave or drink or anything.

I did some more bike projects, and went for a short ride. When I came back I was hoping not to see my featherweight friend. Instead, he was still in the box. But he was gone.

His little feet were still clinging to the lid, but there was no life left in him. I guess it was just his time to go. We had an interesting couple of days, my hummingbird friend and I.