I think the hummingbird has become my new totem. I seem to have a charm of them. Not to mention a bouquet, a hover, a shimmer, a glittering, or a tune ~ all names for a group of hummingbirds.
Detail of a Painting by artist and colleague Catherine Walker
As a florist’s son I admit I’m attracted to bouquet but charm, apparently the most common group name, seems fitting for a jeweler don’t you think? (A glittering comes a close second). And too, the bird was christened Joyas Voladores or Flying Jewels, by the first Spanish arriving in the New World. Whenever I see one it reminds me of the jewel-like yet transient quality of certain experiences, a particular summer day, a kiss, a promise made, a perfect moment in love. Hovering over a flower full of nectar, then gone in a whirr of wings.
From a long list of hummingbird facts* I learned that a hummingbird's brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom. It’s a mega-mind mini-bird.
They can remember every flower and feeder they have visited and even how long it will take for a flower to refill with nectar.
My favorite and the last on the list ~ “Hummingbirds don't read books on what they are supposed to do and tend to do what they want.” Well now. While I am sure I’m not the only one to think so, they seem like a perfect totem for an artist.
Santa Fe fetish
Found drawing by Paula Garrett held in trust
Rainbow Gate (Santa Fe) coffee cup
Yuma Symposium swap pin
Society of N. American Goldsmiths
Listen here to a pissed-off hummingbird chewing out another for trying to sneak into “his” guarded feeder.
*Source: The World of Hummingbirds