Friday, September 4, 2009

Crimson Lahar

I've been having adventures of a different sort lately. You can believe cleaning any garage is some kind of adventure, but now picture cleaning a garage where the stuff from a couple married 13 years and who never threw anything away, is in the same building with the stuff from a couple married more than 60 years, who never threw anything away. I really do mean anything! In a box of carefully saved receipts and papers from the 80's and 90's (quite recent compared to a lot of the stuff), Mom found one of those dumb sweepstakes things. The envelope said boldly, "DO NOT OPEN!" So they didn't. They just saved it. For decades.

Since this is my blog, I can poke fun at other people and not have to tell you even one of the horrid little pieces of junk that I stored for years. It can be my little secret.

I will confess to having made a small tactical error when I came out. In an effort to pack lightly, I actually packed too lightly. Really, I could have used just a few more clothes. Yesterday, Tiggy was surprised to see me wearing one of her shirts. It even fit, mostly. Sidling up and speaking out of the corner of her mouth, Lampwick style, she asked, "Short on shirts?"

"Shut up, little kid!"

A few minutes later, a hummingbird came to visit our feeder. The feeder was empty, and I just hadn't gotten around to refilling it. The bird tried a couple times to get food. When he couldn't, he flew right up to the front window and hovered there, looking in making tiny hummingbird frowny faces right at me.

Damon was the lucky one who got to fill the feeder. He quickly mixed up the "nectar" and went outside. As soon as he turned the feeder right-side-up, the bottom fell off and that sticky red sugar water flew everywhere!

He has very fast reflexes, and managed to save more than half of the ambrosia. This time, when he turned it upright, the bottom held. He must not have shaken it very well. Either that, or he dumped out more water than sugar when it spilled. As soon as the red water settled to the lower parts of the feeder, you could see the brightly revolting sludge oozing down from the top of the feeder in a crimson lahar.

The hummingbird didn't seem to mind. He came and sat down. And sat and sat and sat. I was beginning to wonder if he would still be able to fly when he finished. Amazingly, he could. Now he comes back every hour or two for another sip of that awful concoction.

There are certain disadvantages to being a hummingbird. Everyone else is bigger than you, lots of things want to eat you, and you can starve to death in a few hours. But I can think of one big advantage, too...

Hummingbirds don't have garages.

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