We went up to our cabin on Pitt Lake this past weekend. The weather forecast called for rain, but that's not so bad. We have complete rain canvas for the boat (which is the only way to get there), and a weekend spent curled up in front of the fire with a book, without T.V., telephones, or crackberrys is bliss. (An aside here: although our cell phones do not work up there, we do have a portable marine VHF radio, so we can call for help if one of us cuts off a foot with the chain saw. So don't worry Mom.)
The main reason I was anxious to get to the cabin was to put up the hummingbird feeders. I adore hummingbirds. Thirty years ago a First Nations Elder in a community near where I was working on an archaeology dig gave me the name "Hummingbird" in Salish. I have considered this beautiful, fearless, little creature my totem ever since. We get dozens of Rufous hummingbirds at the lake, flashing in the sunlight, dancing and diving around the hummingbird feeders. In summer, with the windows open, often the first sound I hear at dawn is the soft drum-roll of their tiny wings.
We also get the occasional Anna's hummingbird. This is the northernmost edge of Anna's range. A few will even winter over in southern Vancouver Island and some parts of Vancouver. At Pitt Lake, they are still only seasonal visitors. Their iridescent scarlet heads are breathtaking.
Hummingbirds usually return here about the first week of March. Some years they can be spotted at the end of February. I knew their migration north has been a little slow this year, but it was important to me to get those feeders up and ready. The little jewels arrive exhausted after their long flight from Mexico. (Hell, even I'M tired after a flight from Mexico, and that's just from ordering cerveza on board the plane. I don't have to flap my wings.)
So the feeders are up, but there are no hummingbirds yet. In fact they may be very late this year. If they have any sense.
If any of you in more southern climes see my hummingbirds flying north, tell them from me: "Little ones, you should hang around in California a while. As much as I would love to see you, you don't want to be here yet."
Here are some photos I took Sunday as we were leaving the lake.