Tag Archives: hummingbird

photo: cross polinate

“Indeed, those who see the spiritual life as a life of restrictions and demands, of only yes or no, of life bounded by limits and denial, fail entirely to understand that the spirituality of the liturgical year is a spirituality made out of the shards and triumphs of life. It is a spirituality for the living and the joyful, the insightful and the wise, as well as for the suffering and the sinful. It makes of us the spiritual poets who see the beauty of life.”

-Sister Joan Chittister


hummingbird cross
© erin dunigan 2013


hummingbird pee


not the actual hummingbird that peed on me, but one that sat still long enough for me to photograph it

“I just got peed on by a hummingbird.” 

I have to say, I did wonder about posting this update to Twitter, that would then feed to my Facebook status update. I wondered about using the word peed. Did it sound too gross? I decided it was worth the risk. It was funny, no? 

Sure enough, there were comments on it, both via Twitter and Facebook, almost immediately. Even Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church retweeted it, with the comment, “You don’t hear that too often, do you?” 

But what became most thought provoking (yes, I can use hummingbird pee as an occasion for philosophical ponderings) was another response: “LOL. How could you tell?” 

It made me wonder: How many of us walk around getting peed upon by hummingbirds but don’t even know it? Okay, maybe it’s not so prevalent as that. But her question struck me. How did you know? 

How I knew was that I happened to be sitting outside, watching this particular hummingbird. As I watched, it flew closer and closer to where I was sitting. “It’s getting really close,” I thought to myself. All of a sudden it was so close that it was right above me, not two feet away, investigating a yellow blossom on a tree I happened to be sitting alongside. 

“I hope it doesn’t pee on me,” is what I was thinking to myself, just as I saw the tiny bit of liquid drop from the hummingbird’s non-beak end and felt it’s splash upon my bare shin. It wasn’t really gross as much as it was fascinating. “I just got peed on by a hummingbird,” I thought to myself, and then immediately felt compelled to share it.

How did I know? I was watching it. I mean, if a cow were flying, first off, you’d notice that. It’s a bit larger of a footprint in the sky. If that flying cow were to let loose, well, there’d be no missing that either.  It doesn’t have to be as extreme as a cow. Take a seagull. Again, you’d notice both the bird flying, but also what it was dropping. If a seagull were directly above me, I wouldn’t sit there to observe—I’d move. 

But hummingbirds are not obvious. They are small, tiny almost, unassuming. They don’t usually make a lot of noise, though if you learn to listen for their sounds, you can easily hear one when it is near you. To see or hear a hummingbird you have to be paying attention. It’s not really a multi-tasking activity. Hummingbirds require a certain amount of attentiveness that isn’t typically found amidst a rapid pace. 

How did I notice? I noticed because I happened to be sitting, outside, observing, and not really doing much of anything else. It made me wonder how often we walk around with hummingbird pee on us and don’t even know it.

(‘hummingbird pee‘ was initially published on Culture-Voice.com which is most definitely worth a read…)