It happened this evening. I had returned from monitoring my Eastern Bluebird route and was relaxing on the deck. I was pleased to see the Cat Bird and Downy Woodpecker come to feed on the suet cake I hung from a low-hanging hawthorn tree branch near the deck rail only this afternoon to draw them near. Having spent the last several weeks looking to the east where Ricky and Lucy’s nest box hung in a pine tree, this evening I took a chair facing southwest to keep an eye on that suet feeder and the hummingbird feeder in an opposite corner on the deck. I was told you could set your watch by the movements of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Indeed, they have always returned to my feeders around the 3rd weekend in May. This evening as I tried to forget Ricky, Lucy and their fledglings and anticipate the approaching hummingbird season – there she was! Bird! (That’s my name for hummingbirds … just plain “bird”!) Bird zipped down from the hawthorn, hovered for a while a couple of feet above the hummingbird feeder as if to make a mental note of its location, then she zipped north. It’s official! My hummingbird season has begun!
What about the hummingbird soup and hummingbird cupcakes? A few years ago I worked with a young man who teased me about my hummingbirds and told me I should make soup out of them. I replied that a hummingbird would make enough soup to fill but a thimble. Very recently, in a cookbook borrowed from the library, I discovered a recipe for hummingbird cupcakes. I smiled. It made me think of my young friend who has since moved to the State of Washington. Hummingbird cake is a recipe from the American South. The cupcake recipe I have includes cinnamon, mashed bananas, orange zest, shredded carrot, crushed pineapple and flaked coconut along with safflower oil and the usual flour, sugar, baking powder and eggs.
I think I’m going to bake up a batch of hummingbird cupcakes later next week. It sounds like a great way to celebrate the return of my Ruby-throated summer guests.
What beverage goes well with hummingbird cupcakes? Does anyone know? Mint Julep? Sweet Tea?