We wait in eager anticipation each spring, wondering who will be the first to spot her.
At first she's barely a blip on our radar screen as she zooms across our line of vision.
Was that a bumble bee, or was it….?
We excitedly mark on the family calendar the day that she officially makes her appearance, a reference for next year.
Soon her mate arrives and the real fun begins.
She prefers to sit in the large magnolia tree in Christopher's Garden, just a few feet from "her" feeder full of sugar water.
She waits and waits and then she attacks as an interloper, her mate, dares try to sip some of the sugary treat.
Zooming out of the magnolia, she squeaks out her indignation at the impertinence that is displayed at her feeder.
She chases him off, returning to the feeder and taking a few quick reasssuring sips of the water.
Sometimes she hovers her way down to study the face of the person sitting in the patio chair directly under her feeder.
She's the smallest of birds, yet the bravest.
She hums her welcome as well as her warning to stay away from her food.
Then suddenly she's on the attack again, that pesky male taking advantage of her lapse of guardianship as he buzzes the feeder.
Back to the chase, to the feeder and then finally back to her guard post in the magnolia tree.
All summer she keeps this up, never wearying of her post.
Then as quick as she came, just as quickly she's gone, buzzing and humming and squeaking her way to a far away land where it's warm when we're cold, summer when it's our winter.
She will return again next spring, perching and chasing and talking to us once more.
She is a delight, this hummingbird of ours.