Friday, September 01, 2000

Hummingbird Express

The Hummingbird Express: (and you thought flying United was hard...)

I found the following paragraph in a book titled Gardening With a Wild Heart by Judith Larner Lowry. Ms Lowry is the Owner of Larner Seeds in Marin County.

I found this fact of nature so weird and splendid that I just have to share it:

On page 16, Ms Lowry writes:

Indian paintbrush (a hemi-parasitic plant).....hosts a particular kind of aphid-eating mite. This mite lives in the flower, where it eats nectar, till a hummingbird comes along to share the nectar. At this juncture, the mite runs up the hummingbird beak and into its nostril, where it sits tight while the hummingbird flies down to Baja California. As the hummingbird approaches a nectar-producing plant, the mite gets ready, rears up, and races from the nostril, down the beak, and into the flower. Since it must move so quickly, this creature is equal in speed to the fastest animal on earth, the cheetah. By establishing this flower in the garden, with its as yet elusive cultural requirements, we may be facilitating this mind-boggling nasal journey.

Isn't nature magickal?

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