Irene is dying out over northern New England. Most of the worst-case scenarios seem not to have occurred, though there has been a great deal of damage and flooding regardless. The hurricane in New England made me think of the book Time of Wonder, by Robert McCloskey, about summer life on a small island in Penobscot Bay. Just before the end, a hurricane blows through, sending the family indoors for a night of board games, storytelling, and hymn-singing by the light of a kerosene lantern. The book closes with these lines, as they pack up to leave at the end of the summer:
It is time to reset the clock from the rise and fall of the tide, to the come and go of the school bus. Pack your bag and put in a few treasures…A little bit sad about the place you are leaving, a little bit glad about the place you are going. It is a time of quiet wonder – for wondering, for instance: Where do hummingbirds go in a hurricane?
I can’t say that question has ever kept me up at night, but I have wondered about it from time to time. Well, it seems that the question now has an answer. See the photo below, taken by Chuck at his parents’ house in Greenville, NC, during the storm:
Apparently, hummingbirds go wherever the hell they want during a Hurricane.