You’re sitting in a comfortable chair, around eight P.M., and the sun is gently lowered behind a tall oak tree.
A basket of red flowered petunias grows out of an orange ceramic pot. It’s very quiet.
You have a few birds chatting high up in the apple tree to your right, and two sparrows are hopping along the grass, searching for that last evening snack.
Out of nowhere, you hear a distant rumble. It’s very faint, very subtle. Barely audible. Barely distinguishable.
But since you are sitting still, in a very quiet way, you are able to hear this sound, which is starting to get a bit louder. It sounds like a motor, or maybe a generator. And the more you listen, you image it could be a helicopter. The motor is constant, like an engine, but not metallic. It’s a beautiful sound with a rhythm that makes you feel good.
You look to the sky, but there’s nothing there but blue, or rather, dark blue. You look around, but the only thing that seems to be moving is moving directly above, kind of hovering above the petunias, those red petunias.
It’s about three inches long, has the most beautiful, brilliant throat colors, and the colors are iridescent. It weighs about three grams, and you compare it to a nickel that weighs four and a half. The wings are beating at 50 to 200 flaps per second and the heart rate is more than 1200 beats per minute. You compare that to a human’s, which is 60 to 100 beats per minute.
And the sound you hear is being created by its beating wings.
You’ve guessed it – it’s a hummingbird.
So, the next time I hear that faint rumble, of what I think is a helicopter, I’m gonna imagine it’s the evening flutter of a hummingbird.