It was late season and the days were considerably shorter, while the mornings were crisp and the songbirds had gone silent. It was the time of year I dreaded. All the summer birds were already in migration mode and the last few hummingbirds remained. This young Ruby-throat was cold and contemplating life. A 2000 mile journey was hours away, but he sat on an open branch and soaked up every bit of morning sunrise he could. After a very cool night, the heat from the sunrise was desperately needed for those stiff little muscles, his and mine. The final hummingbirds were leaving in late summer, and I knew what lay ahead.
The cold long winter is now still lingering here in the north, but Spring time is our great reward for enduring the difficulty. Snow is melting a bit each day, and a few song birds are showing signs that Spring is nearly upon us. The Northern migration is in full swing with many species, and over the next couple months the landscape will be changed dramatically.
There is no greater time of year than now. Renewed life is everywhere from soil to sky. It's the time of year to savor every sight, sound and smell, and not waste a single moment.
Young male Ruby-throat hummingbird, N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Late August 2017
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