Tiny king

The Tiny King Comes to Sip His Nectar

He visits a little more each day
watching me through the window, wary
not knowing I hold my breath
at sight of him, flash of living jewel-fire
out of nowhere, here, and gone

My male ruby-throated hummingbird
—took days of stealth to get these shots.
The females come more frequently.


Rubies are the stone of kings; in chess, the king can move in any direction. In mythology, nectar is the drink of the gods. Fitting symbolism for this little creature so gloriously arrayed, so endowed with otherworldly powers. He’s outside my window looking in at this very moment, the morning sun shining on his fiery throat—the brightest color I’ve ever seen in nature. Utterly breathtaking. He’s laid claim to the window feeder since I put another one out in the yard. Tiny king of a tiny kingdom, reigning and defending from a twig-throne on high, among pink blossoms in the crape myrtlewhich just so happens to represent royalty.

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