The Care and Feeding of Hummingbirds…Oh! Wait, I Mean Muses…

Monday was a holiday here in the USA, so I enjoyed a three-day weekend. I actually accomplished a lot on my current WIP, but I also enjoyed lots of family time.

One of my non-writing activities involved relaxing on my best friend’s back deck, savoring clam dip and seven-grain crackers, and observing the antics of the many hummingbirds who grace her property. My friend has a hummingbird feeder suspended on her deck and it was a constant source of energetic activity, despite the fact we were seated close enough to reach out and touch it.

The dazzling little hummers darted back and forth between the feeder and a nearby cherry tree, perching among its leaves while they plotted their next foray to the syrupy fountain. I swear, the cherry leaves were larger than the tiny birds.

As I watched them flit and flutter, it occurred to me that the delightful afternoon on the deck was providing sustenance for my muse as surely as the sugar-water nourished the high energy birds. I needed writing time this weekend, but I also needed the trip to the farmer’s market, the family barbeque, the pool party with the grandchildren, and the time to unwind with friends in the stillness of a garden abundant with hummingbirds.

It’s too easy to lose sight of the need to feed my muse when I’m scurrying to write the day’s allotted words before rushing to the day-job. And too often when the weekend arrives, I’m obsessed with the paucity of words I’ve accumulated during the week—so driven to find uninterrupted time to create that I forget my muse needs bright, shiny experiences to act as fodder for her imaginative process.

Relax…breathe, Debbie. Take a walk; enjoy the children; absorb scenic beauty. Feed your muse, because a starving muse produces uninspired work, and what good is it to write volumes of narrative lacking the necessary spark to ignite a reader’s imagination?

Enjoy life! Keep your muse fat and healthy.

—Debbie

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Care and Feeding of Hummingbirds…Oh! Wait, I Mean Muses…

  1. Thanks for the much needed reminder that we all need to take time to relax, unwind and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Hummingbirds help me to do that because they remind me to enjoy the beauty of nature as well as remind me of happy memories of my mom.

    It may interest you to know the following information about hummingbirds.

    The amount of nectar that a hummingbird must intake each day is dependent on a number of factors including activity level, air temperature, quality of available resources, and time of year. The hummingbird will require one and a half times its body weight in nectar to meet its daily energy needs.

    The hummingbird can digest nectar very rapidly and efficiently. The nectar will pass entirely through the hummingbird’s digestive system in less than 20 minutes!

    Due to the large amount of fluid a hummingbird will intake each day, a hummingbird’s daily urine output may exceed 80 percent of its body weight, whenever nectar is found to be plentiful.

    When it comes to selecting a food source, what is most important is the quantity and quality of the nectar which is available. Whenever choosing a flower, the hummingbird will select the flower with the highest nectar output and the richest concentration of sugars, regardless of the shape or color of the flower. Also more important than the color of the flower is how the nectar taste.

    Even though they have an extremely high metabolic rate, hummingbirds do not eat until they are full at every opportunity. During daylight hours, the hummingbird will eat frequently for short periods of time. At night, the hummingbird will eat as heavily as the nectar supply will allow. The hummingbird may store a third of its weight in nectar to ensure that it will survive its overnight fast while maintaining its normal resting metabolic rate.

    If you would like much more information about hummingbirds, please click the links below. The sites contain many articles about hummingbirds, video clips about hummingbirds, an informative tips booklet on hummingbirds, and much more.

    Click Here To Visit About Hummingbirds

    Hummingbirds For Mom

  2. Awesome information, Zoe! Thanks for stopping by.

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