Even though I’m still practicing my social media sabbatical as I focus on fiction, I felt compelled to provide an update on the hummingbird family under our breezeway. In my first hummingbird post, I shared the incredible nest-building process.
In this post, with photos and videos, I share one baby hummingbird’s journey as he or she (Archie? Annie?) takes flight into the Sonoran desert:
Being the ever-vigilant surrogate hummingbird mama that I was, you will understand, in the video below, my complete freak out when baby Archie/Annie tests those wings on June 12 (right after mama fed him). Please forgive my (two) camera flubs at the end when my arm slid off the arm of the chair.
And I had to share the following video of Anna feeding her baby on June 17. At the end, when the camera fumbles, you’ll hear me say, “Hi baby.” I have turned around and am talking to mama, who flew to my hiding place (cross-legged on the concrete, behind a chair), right next to my ear. If you listen (and turn up the volume), you will hear her “buzz” me. I don’t think she was defensive – just surprised to see me there.
For Readers, Writers: As the videos illustrate, this little hummer had no prior experience with flight. Yet, incredibly, he had the instinct to know how to use those wings. Amazing – yet something we see in nature all the time. This reality, of course, brings me to the notion of reader and writer instincts.
Readers – When you’re reading, you instinctively know when a novel, or chapter or scene works – or when it doesn’t (whether or not you can identify the specifics). You just know, don’t you? Is it instinct?
Writers – Do you feel you’re equipped with some writerly instinct to know when something is working or isn’t working in your fiction? Do you think authors are “born with” storytelling instinct the same way hummingbirds are born knowing how to flap those wings 40 to 50 beats per second? Or can storytelling and writing be learned? Or is it, perhaps, a combination of the two?