FROM READERS: Enduring the heat worthwhile to photograph hummingbirds

Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 10:00 a.m. CDT
Hummingbirds have emerged this week in John Hall's backyard. They'll be moving south in a few weeks.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

Yesterday was quite a day. It was election day in Missouri and the time for one of our English cockers to have some major, major dental surgery. So, after voting and taking the dog to the veterinarian I decided to do something I've been putting off for a long time. Life is filled with acronyms and one that I don't like doing is the same as the one by which the Public Service Administration is known. But, since the dog was going to be tolerating pain I figured I could do likewise. Back in college I always wanted the GPA to be around four, which it never was. Now a PSA that matches my college GPA is a welcome result.

So much for that line of blather. Knowing the hummingbirds will be headed south in a few weeks I decided to face the elements and take the big lens, the even bigger tripod and the loaner camera into the back yard. After sending out some hummingbird photos earlier in the week and getting a number of positive comments I thought I could tolerate a few minutes of three digit temperatures to go along with the three alpha characters endured during the early morning.

(If you can't see the slideshow, you can view it on Flickr here.)

For a few minutes, probably 30, I endured the heat and tried to focus on a few birds. One thing about hummingbirds is that they are like little water droplets on a red hot pot belly stove. They don't tend to pose for photos like the male bluebird did earlier in the summer after his wife came up missing and he was attempting to raise four little ones alone.

All came out pretty well, yesterday. The dog came home sans eight teeth and everyone for whom I voted won in their primary battle. But, "it ain't over until it's over and the fat lady sings." There is still a general election ahead and whoever is elected to serve their two-, four- or six-year term the outcry will soon be "kick the bums out."

And, I said all of that for an excuse to share some hummingbirds and to tell you that I can't get any closer to them than these photos reveal. If I got any closer they would be too close for the camera to focus on them.

My long sick camera is one its way home and UPS promises a Friday delivery.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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