Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

A Hummingbird in Winter


I was lucky to find myself in Arizona last week while Nashville – and the Midwest – shivered. I felt guilty about it. Shouldn’t I be suffering along with my friends, my family, my dog? That lasted for a minute and then I got over it.

If you have the chance to go to Arizona in January or February, take it.

A new geography wakes up your eyes. Rock gardens nurture cacti and green-barked trees. The thirst of water-starved plants yields – beauty. Strength. Resilience.

You might find yourself figuring out a group dynamic, knowing at age 50 that you can say no to some things and yes to others. You might be willing to offer some silly ideas in a salsa and margarita-making contest. You might be able to say no, I’m not brave enough for that double diamond hike.

You might find yourself on a party bus, a real party bus, for the first time in a while.

You might find yourself blessed by a hummingbird.

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A Hummingbird in Winter: A Poem for Children


A hummingbird in winter
Beats its tiny, tiny wings,
A hummingbird in winter
Silly sings, silly sings:

Hummy buzzy, hummy buzzy
Ring a ling, ring a ling
Hummy buzzy, hummy buzzy
Twinkle zing, twinkle zing!

A hummingbird in winter
Means just one important thing:
You and hummy found the sun –

You can sing, swing, sing!


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Gus Puryear and Jim Flautt, Feeling all the feels



  1. Hummers have my heart. I have held them in my cupped hands till they warmed back up to fly again, held them in my hands till their little hearts stopped beating so hard when they could not get out of my garage. held them when they flew into our windows thinking they were headed for a tree. They are so forgiving, trusting, and they remember you. I have never known another wild “thing” that remembers, forgives, and returns to you each year.

  2. Winter is pretty fantastic in Arizona – that’s the reason I moved here from the Midwest! Glad you were able to get out of the deep freeze & enjoy it!

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