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HUMMINGBIRD BLISS: My Mother's Art

Updated: Feb 26, 2023


My favorite birds are hummingbirds. What I love best about them is that the fact they’re so gorgeous, small and fascinating masks how tough and ruthless they can be. That’s why I chose the animal as one of three symbols in my historical novel, The Falcon, the Wolf and the Hummingbird due out in September.


The hummingbird in the photo is a color pencil drawing done by my mother, who got heavily into that medium in her later years. I felt closest to her on the rare occasions we talked while she worked.


Here’s a short excerpt from my memoir, Bliss Road:


To her, watercolor felt loose and reckless. Oil painting seemed unforgiving. In contrast, colored pencil allowed her the freedom to be herself; quiet, slow, meticulous, a lion of precision. Her mind centered on nonthreatening natural beauty, she could think about what colors would achieve the effect she wanted.

And a few fun facts about hummingbirds listed by the American Bird Conservancy:


  • There are more than 360 hummingbird species.

  • They “have outstanding spatial memory and can remember feeder locations years later.”

  • The smallest bird in the world, a Bee Hummingbird, is only 2 inches long and weighs less than a dime.

  • “The Blue-throated Mountain-gem's heart beats as fast as 1,260 beats per minute.”


What’s your favorite bird?


___


For updates about Martha’s forthcoming books, new and giveaways, subscribe to her website: MarthaEngber.com.


Bliss Road, a memoir, June 2023


The Falcon, the Wolf and the Hummingbird, a historical novel, Sept. 19, 2023


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