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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Hummingbirds depart, birds vie for food in autumn

By John Hall/Missourian Reader
October 5, 2012 | 10:30 a.m. CDT
This blue jay was photographed by frequent contributor John Hall.

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

With the departure of the hummingbirds for the winter it was time to clean out the feeders. There were some honey bees hanging around and I poured some of the remaining sugar water on the deck railing. I'm sure you recognize them by their facial features. If you've never stared one down, this photo will give you that experience.

There are a few butterflies remaining, but as you can see by their wings, the summer has ended and their life is nearing that same point. Of course, the wasps are still hanging around, and one did some push ups on the storm door.

My wife made a couple of friends (right) last weekend when we went to pick up this communication device (below right). This Kellogg wall telephone was still in use,
in 1964, when I moved to El Dorado Springs, Mo. Later that year, they started phasing them out with the more modern system and I picked these units up for each member of the family for $5 each. This one was no longer wanted due to a death in the family and I brought it back to my home to be handed down to a member of the younger generation. I can say with great certainty this telephone will be around decades after the glitzy iPhones of today are in the scrap heap of old electronic devices.

Early this morning the bluejays, chickadees, robins, sparrows and spiders all vied for the opportunity to have their photos taken. All of the birds will hang around for the winter and will be depending on my food court to keep them from starving to death.

It will be an ordeal to keep enough food for them with a bunch of pesky squirrels raiding the serving stations, but it is a battle that has gone on for centuries and the squirrels will prevail due to great dexterity and cunning. They will be heard mocking my every attempt to keep them at bay.

If you can't see the slideshow below, click here to see it on Flickr.com.

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.