I have been seeing an ochre and green hummingbird in the garden since midsummer -- at least I think it's the same one, always solitary, hovering around the bee balm, dipping into the butterfly bush. Sometimes I hear him before I see him, that quick startling vibration somewhere near my ear. Dickinson called one a "route of evanescence" and that seems exactly right -- here and gone, a path of sudden iridescent appearance and quick, gone again. The day before yesterday I spent a good deal of the day working outside, and he seemed to be everywhere, and I started to think of him as a very small and very energetic muse. That night, I bought a hummingbird feeder at KMart, the least offensive one on display -- no huge plastic flower shape, no "art glass," just a clear tube with small red plastic flowers on the bottom to dispense the nectar.
Since hanging it up first thing yesterday, no hummingbird. When I'm watering or weeding, I keep looking; inside, I keep checking the kitchen window. No sign of one. I know it's magical thinking, but I feel I've expressed my desire for the hummingbird, and that did it: whatever we say we want loves to go buzzing spectacularly away. I am waiting for the one-inch wonder to refute this observation.