Winged blessings

This is what I get to see in the evenings at the garden center. The hummingbird moths are still coming in though the azaleas are no longer blooming.

Sometimes I really wish I could just stay home to work in my garden and write. Then I get a customer who really appreciates my help and my knowledge of gardening, lawns and landscaping… I really like working in the garden center at Home Depot.

One of the many blessings of my job, besides the great customers and co-workers, is the creatures that visit the gorgeous plants we have. When I water early in the day, the birds greet me with their morning song, and when I water in the evening, the hummingbird moths gather around the flowers, especially the azaleas.

The first time I saw a hummingbird moth was in Kentucky or Tennessee. It was early morning and I had no clue what this flying striped body was. It flies like a hummingbird in about three-quarter time, and the wings are smaller in proportion to its body. The body is shaped like a moth, but the wings flap so quickly, they streak the air with color.

Last week, I was watering the perennials and petunia hanging baskets under the shade mesh and one of the moths started flitting from flower to flower, sticking its long skinny tongue into the flowers to collect nectar. I felt privileged to observe, slowed the water and watched.

I was so excited I started babbling on about the moth to Peter, the vendor who was working with the shrubs, and he told me about the gathering of hummingbird moths in the azaleas. I wandered over and watched in awe as they flew silently and quickly from flower to flower.

I was nearly late punching out. I could see it now: My excuse on the variance board for punching out late was the joy of watching hummingbird moths. My employers would love that!


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