Monday 23 June 2008

Star struck

John reminded me just now about the first time I saw a hummingbird in real life. Where I come from you only get them in nature programmes on the telly, not outside hovering near flowers. I don't think I ever realized where they do appear in the outside world, so when I saw one I was absolutely star struck: "Look, it's a hummingbird, off the telly!". I was in a suburb of Goleta trying to find the local supermarket on my first day there, and noticed a couple of really really big "bees" hovering above a tree, about three meters above the ground. Imagine my joy when I realized I was going to see them most mornings having their breakfast outside my kitchen window.

I had a similar experience years later (a couple of years ago now, blimey, I'm not getting any younger) when I visited the Grand Canyon and noticed a big vulture sitting below us. Someone uttering "condor" made me forget about the Grand Canyon ("just a big hole in the ground after all") and stare star struck at the condor. "Look, it's a condor, off the telly!". Apparently some California Condors I had seen going nearly extinct on the telly had been moved to the Grand Canyon to thrive.

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