Hummingbirds are messengers between the spirit world and the physical world. When we see and hear these beautiful little creatures, we can feel joy in our souls and rejoice with them to the pure essence of life. These little masters of flight eat tiny bugs and flower nectar. What a sweet dinner they have. When we see Hummingbird, it reminds us to savor the sweetness in our own lives.
We had the privilege of watching a hummingbird build a nest and raise three young ones just three feet from our studio window. Not only did we fell incredibly blessed to have her as part of our family, but we learned a great deal about hummingbirds’ diet and life cycle. We watched the construction project take shape using spider webs (stronger than steel!) and lichens. She created a tiny cup with an inside diameter just larger than a quarter, all lined with spider silk, and laid 4 tiny eggs. All four hatched but one of the little chicks died on the third day, the other three lived. I loved watching her feed them before they bedded down for the night. When the sun was low in the sky I could see all the insects in the air outside my window. She would sit on the electric wire that goes to my house every five seconds or so she would fly down and snatch a mosquito out of the air, after about ten mosquitoes she would go to the feeder and fill up on nectar. Then she would go to the nest and feed the voracious brood. Often ten trips would be made before the light faded and it was time for the daily hibernation.
The other thing that amazed me is that the young hummers NEVER practiced with their wings. I have watched hundreds of young eagles and ospreys learn to fly. They spend countless hours flapping and jumping up and down on the edge of the nest. The only wing exercise I ever saw the hummingbirds do was to stretch each wing, kind of like when a cat stretches his back legs one at a time. Then one day while pretending to work (I mean could you work when there are hummingbirds to be watched three feet from your nose?) I saw one of the little guys get up on the side of the nest. I moved to the window thinking now I get to see them exercise their wings. Not so! He just dived off! Not a single practice flap or anything. I went into instant panic mode, my cats were outside! I ran around and collected the cats (with a lot of help) and got them inside the house. The most amazing thing is that within three hours these three little birds were flying with the adults hovering at the feeder, flying backwards, and doing all those daredevil hummingbird things until we could no longer tell babies from adults!
This is one of the oldest designs that I still carve, and one of my favorites. I still get the drawing out and tinker with it trying to make the beak longer etc. but it has remained pretty much the same for many years, but has gone through many incarnations. This is the one I made for Janet once upon a time. She wears it almost constantly.
Hand-carved Sterling Silver Hummingbird Bracelet by Owen Walker, 1 inch width tapering to .70 inch with Abalone inlaid eyes.