When I headed out to milk the cow, I noticed clouds in the east, so I put down my bucket, went inside, got my camera, and slipped it in my pocket. I've learned that early-morning clouds in the east can mean a beautiful sunrise will soon appear.
I spent about five minutes straining the milk and putting it away. When I stepped back outside, this moment of glory was gone. I've learned over the years that if you want a picture of a pretty sunrise or sunset, you'd better be quick. The beauty lasts but a short time.
When you think about it, each of life's golden moments is like a pretty sunrise; you'd better savor the good times while you have them. There will be others, but none will be exactly like this one.
Speaking of brief, the hummingbird season is about over, too. Two weeks ago I couldn't keep the feeders full of nectar. Now I only fill them halfway, and I still end up pouring some out. I've learned if I don't keep the nectar fresh, they stop drinking it.
Some people take the feeders down "so the hummingbirds will fly south". Others, as mentioned on a hummingbird education website, go to the opposite extreme: "Q: Will I keep the hummingbirds here if I feed them into the fall? A: It is not necessary to take down feeders to force the birds to fly south. They will migrate. If hummingbirds are sticking around, it could be because they are sick or injured. Some experts recommend leaving the feeder up with a spot light (150 watt bulb) on the feeder to keep the nectar from freezing). Amazingly enough some hummingbirds are still able to find insect larvae in the bark of trees. It is not necessary to ‘fly’ the birds south. Nature is nature and is never a guarantee that all birds will survive."
Personally, I take my feeders down when they haven't seen any action for a few days. It makes me sad to see the tiny birds leave, but next spring I will be so excited to see the first arrivals; so in a way, their absence is worth it. Perhaps if I had to feed them year around it would start to seem like drudgery. Just one more reminder to enjoy a good thing while I have the opportunity.
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."