Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It Has Feathers, But It Isn't A Fly

This weekend was a bust as far as fly fishing around here.  Despite the cool evening temperatures, the rivers near here got a little too warm by late morning, and by the time I wanted to fish, water temperatures were over 70 degrees.   So I didn't fish, but I did put some fish in the pond and plant a bunch of aquatic plants that hopefully the deer won't have for breakfast, dinner or a snack.  Those fish are not for casting to, they are pets of a sort, that I sit and watch from my perch along the edge as they swim gracefully among the rocks, plants and frogs. The water in the pond was 52 degrees Saturday evening - the South Branch was 73!   I think I've mentioned here that the pond does not freeze in winter, even when the temps hit zero, because the springs that feed it emerge from deep down in the rocks below at temperatures that rarely stray from their range of 45 - 55 degrees.

Mornings bring hummingbirds to the feeders hanging out back of my home, and I love to watch them come and go lit only by the thin rays of the rising sun peeking through the canopy above. This year I have identified 8 different birds, and each is fascinating to watch as they come and go, fight for position in the food line, and feed.  Hummingbirds definitely have a pecking order among themselves, and when one comes to feed and sees another already there, they battle in the air like tiny, squeaking fighter planes until one gives way to the other.  Most of these contests only last seconds, some a little longer, and in the end it only pride gets hurt.

Above we have H.R.H. (His Royal Highness), who never has to fight when he comes to feed due to his apparent alpha status in the clan.  When H.R.H. comes to one of the feeders, if any one of the others is in attendance, they will leave immediately - no questions asked and no squeaky protests.

Here's another female - you'll notice the white band around her neck is somewhat wider than the one at the top.  I use these differences in coloration to tell each apart.

So there are three of of the bunch, the others were not so cooperative or brave, as I stood nearby with camera in hand.  I'll work on getting the others on "film" so I can see if any of these birds return next summer.

In the meantime, hope you all are having a good summer.  I'll be tying flies the next few days in anticipation of my trip Saturday to Montana with the boys.  There are 7 of us going for 9 days, and I'll do my best to record the adventure - and you can bet it will be an adventure. We fish alot, eat, drink beer, bust chops, sleep a little, tie flies, and bust chops some more.  Since I'm not bringing my computer, I may attempt to communicate with any one that may care to check on Twitter: @Mattgrobert  I'm not much of a social media user, and I can't guarantee anything, but I'll give it a shot.

Sharpen your hooks!       


Daniel said...

Very cool. I have had a feeder up since April but have not seen a bird visiti it yet. We saw some near the house in October last year so hopefully they will be back this fall.

Lester Kish said...

Matt, enjoyed the hummer photos. We don't get many out here in the valley, even though we're only a couple of miles from the mountains.

Have a great trip out west. Looking forward to hearing about it.