Funny Thing How Stories are Spun

by Susan Larson, columnist
(Lilburn, GA)

For years Scott and Fay Neal of Snellville have enjoyed the variety of creatures in her backyard. Watching their wildlife build nests, gather food and scurry around the yard beats watching television. But the real highlight was the close-up shots they had one summer of the critters that hung out on their deck.


On one side of their sliding glass door, a ruby throat hummingbird fluttered around the feeder they had hanging there. On the other side of the door a giant garden spider sat and spun all day. Both seemed very happy in their shared, but separate space.

“I had often wondered why the hummingbird never seemed to fly near the spider’s web,” said Fay, but one Saturday morning she found out. “I looked outside just as a fledgling hummingbird had become entangled in the web. The tiny emerald creature was struggling to break loose and ended up becoming further confined by the sticky threads. My heart fell as I saw him fight so hard to break free.”

Fay quickly ran over to him. “I gently cradled the bird in one hands and knocked the web down with a broom.”

After Kay unraveled the web from the hummingbird’s feathers, he jumped out of her hand, but fell to the ground. “He didn’t fly off as I’d expected him to. I didn’t know what to do. Should I take him to the vet or the local bird store?”

She decided on the latter. She tucked her tiny hummingbird, who by now was known as “Sweetie” into a suet holder and rushed him over to a bird store.

The owners, Robin and Thad Weed, called Georgia Hummers and followed their directions to make Sweetie comfortable. They gave him some sugar water and placed him in a larger suet holder with a light to keep him warm. His eyes started darting around and he seemed more alert, but what they really needed was a hummingbird rehabilitator.

They called Melanie Haire, a Georgia Hummer volunteer, who rushed to Sweetie’s rescue. With her expert care, Sweetie soon flew away.

The Neals continue to enjoy the diverse wildlife in their backyard. They welcome any of God’s creatures that want to make a home on their deck. Except for spiders. Not that they dislike spiders, but why get yourself into a sticky situation?

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