sometimes the little things can be so big
a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird taking on a Pileated Woodpecker.
In non-avian terms, it was like Tinkerbell taking on heavyweight boxer, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Maybe out weighed, but not outwitted. Spectacularly entertaining.
Consider the physical characteristcs:
- Hummer, one of the smallest birds in the world: Body, 2-3". Weight, less than .o9 ounces. Wingspan, 3-4".
- Pileated, one of the largest woodpeckers in the world: Body, 20". Weight, average, 12 ounces. Wingspan, 30 inches.
The Big Guy was unruffled by this eensy twit of a bird all in a dither about his presence on the tree trunk. A tree that undoubtedly the hummer claimed as Her Tree. I suspect it's the one she built her nest in a few months back - impossible for me to detect since those nests are the size of acorns. After a couple minutes of being dive bombed by the hummer, the woodpecker did fly off to another nearby tree. Score one for the Little Guy.
But this post isn't about birds. It's about the little things we see in any given day that make us smile. Here's some of mine for this past week, added to the above bird scene:
- a blond-headed girl, maybe two years old giving her daddy a neck hug while he held her. She squeezed as tight as her little arms could manage and kissed him on the cheek.
- a mid-60s fellow, 6'2" ish, bushy white beard, thinning white hair on his head, wearing faded overalls over a sleeveless white T-shirt. His tan, weathered skin and well-defined biceps gave him a hard-working farmer look. So when he stood to sing the national anthem, holding nothing back, face raised to the sky, it made me smile, and get a little teary.
- a feather on the water. The only thing floating on the lake's surface as far as my eyes could see. Had to take a photo of it.
- another blond-headed child, her curls the color of vanilla ice cream, looked about 4 years old. She was in the seat of a grocery cart trying to wedge one foot between the metal bars. It wouldn't fit, not for lack of really trying to get it in there, so she settled for spreading her toes far enough apart so the big one and the pinky toe could bracket a metal bar. That left the middle toes free to wiggle which delighted her to no end. Impossible not to smile at that.
- a bloom on my orchid cactus, not yet opened. Any day now. I'll take a photo of that to show you next week. It's a pretty outrageous looking bloom, and flower. Something that is unique about this cactus (called an orchid cactus because in the wild it grows on trees, a true epiphyte), and the bloom opens for only one night. The photo below is from Wikipedia; an unopened flower, the stage mine is at, and the open bloom. Makes me smile!
- an elderly white-haired couple treading across a large parking lot, their stooped shoulders and carefully placed steps identical. They were holding hands. Not loosely, but fingers interlocked.
- the August 21st solar eclipse: in my area of Missouri we saw it at 94%. The moon, at a 2:00 position on a clock, began passing between Earth and the sun at about 12:15 pm and had completely slipped out of sight three hours later. The darkest phase of the eclipse came a little after 1 pm, not as dark as I thought it would get, but the daylight definitely dimmed. Just thinking about what was going on up there, millions of miles away from my home, made me smile.
What made you smile lately?