It’s a Kind of Magic

I took this photo of a (probably) female Black-chinned HummingbirdArchilochus alexandri, several weeks ago.  She was guarding a stand of blooming Turk’s cap, Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii, with all vigor and spunk.  That’s the hummingbird way, after all:  tough and territorial, they fight with one another for the pick of nectar sources, and in this particular case and as it’s so late in the season, I’m certain she was preparing for her flight south, her fueling for migration a requirement for survival.

I doubt if the British rock band, Queen, had bird migration in mind with their 1986 song, It’s a Kind of Magic, but I find the pull and drive for migration an enigma, something so astonishing that it’s hard to fathom, and something pulsing with a kind of magic.

Nevertheless, here in my oak tree, resting between sips of Turk’s cap nectar and bullies of other hummingbirds, she looks quiet and contemplative.  I wonder–does she think about her journey, or is she driven purely by instinct, by forces beyond her control?

Does she plan her trip? Does she fear it?

The Turk’s cap blooms are done for the year, the hummingbird gone; I hope my garden provided what she and her kind needed. Please, may she return in spring to guard next season’s blooms.

Appreciative for the gifts a garden bestows, I’m joining today with Anna and her Wednesday Vignette.   Check out her beautiful Flutter and Hum for musings of various sorts.

*The Queen video is comprised of work from visual artists worldwide, submitted to accompany the song.  It’s a fun one!*

18 thoughts on “It’s a Kind of Magic

  1. Migration IS one of the many miracles of the world. There was definitely something in the air yesterday, down at the dock. There were masses of birds stirring, seemingly getting ready for something big. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out my friend Tamara’s latest blog post. There is a photo of a hummingbird you don’t often see toward the end. Amazing, and so fitting that it would choose her garden to grace with its presence. Take a look!


  2. That’s a great video. Oddly enough, I’ve never heard the song. I suspect it didn’t get the radio play others of their hits did, which would explain it. This has been my week for being introduced to new music. I’d never heard of the group Muse — I think I’m older than I realized.

    When I was at Brazoria last weekend, there were monarchs everywhere. I’d assumed they all had gone, but not so. I heard that there’s been banding going on down that way, too, to help with tracking them. I even found a refuge volunteer with a butterfly net, collecting some. They raise monarchs there, and release them, though we started talking about other things, and I neglected to ask what was happening with those he collected.


    • Isn’t it a wonderful video?! There are two more, one with dancers for “Don’t Stop Me Now’ : ; and one for Bo Rhap, with musicians:

      I’ve heard of Muse and that’s all I can say. I’ll look’em up!

      Honestly, I’m a fairly new Queen/Freddie Mercury fan, I only knew the big hits, but they have a large body of work (well, 22 years of music making). I’m currently going through all their albums with the assistance of a couple of blogs which analyze their music. And then, of course, there’s Freddie’s solo stuff and collaboration with the opera singer, Montserrat Caballe. So much to learn!

      My son and husband firmly believe I have lost my mind…

      Nice about the monarchs. I was sure all of ours had passed through, but saw one yesterday as I was leaving the house. We’re now in the wet and cold, so any remaining here will keep a low profile until the sun comes out again–which it always does.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s a lot of Muse I don’t like at all, and I think the official video for “Uprising” is a little odd, but the lead vocalist is great, and they tend to incorporate a lot of classical music, which gives some interesting effects from time to time. If you just listen to “Uprising” without watching the video, the musical sophistication comes through.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man, Linda–I just listened (and didn’t watch the video! lol)–I love that song and you’re right, the lead vocalist is great. I’m doing some rather mindless computer work for a political organization right now, listening to music (because why, oh why, would I want to listen to the news??), but I have to keep from bouncing in my chair at the desk. 🙂


  3. I truly enjoy your articles. They are so well written and often express my thoughts perfectly. I wish I could express my love of nature (especially Hummingbirds and Screech Owls) so well.


  4. Ha, it’s a long time since I’ve listened to that track! Love the hummingbird photo. I am in awe of the distances travelled during migration. It is a kind of magic. We’ve currently got geese flying in (noisily) for the winter.


  5. Migration is one of the great mysteries. Was the hummingbird asking herself, as I often do, “why am I doing this?” I sometimes wonder what the connections might be between human and animal migration.


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