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Out On The Mudline

Amazing Little Summer Visitors Back For Another Season

By W. P. Sissell

Our Summer Visitors

As we finished our breakfast today, Nannette suddenly said, “Bill, they’re here, he’s come to the window to let us know they’re here!” As I turned toward our north window I glimpsed  a small dark object disappearing to the east.  Looking at her in surprise I asked, “Who!”  To my question she replied, “We’ve got to get some feeders out, now, our hummer’s are back! The feeders are hanging on the back wall of the change room.”  We immediately got busy, me, finding several feeders while Nannette mixed feed.  Thank goodness we got several gallons of water (without chemicals) last week. They will use our artesian water from the Crowder place, too.   The birds let us know last year that they did not like the water from our water system.


I do wonder about these little creatures. Just last week we had a conversation about their arrival.  When I looked at my “bird book,” I found that we saw them first on April 4 in 2006.  Very possibly the weather that’s been coming up across Texas has disrupted their plans.  Of course, by now, you know I’m talking about the arrival of the first hummingbird.  In about this same length of time my wife—she’s ecstatic because the little thing came to the window to tell her he’s arrived—so much so that she’s written a verse—He came to my window to say—“How do you do.” He waved his little wings and away he flew.  Who am I? I’m your summer visitor, the hummer.  We had one, or were there  several, who came to the window every time a favorite feeder became empty.  We wonder if that was one of those “window lookers” of last year.

They are amazing creatures—the book says that when migrating (over 2000 miles) the wings flap 15-80 times a second and the heart beats about 21 times per second.  With all that energy being expended a hummingbird is just hours away from starvation.  Their migration route must include available food and remember they do this twice each year.  We have two species here in the east plus six accidental.

The Presidential  Visitor

Last week I sorta wound up writing a little about President Polk and the origin of my great-grand mother, Lucy Polk Carr Parks (Now you know where my middle name [Parks] came from).  

James Knox Polk’s home was in Columbia Tennessee. He opted to run, told them in the beginning, that he would serve only one term as he ran for office.  The encyclopedia which we have states that as president he was in the class of George Washington.  If you read about the things he accomplished you can understand that statement.  

We accidentally ran across one of his Tennessee  homes location when we were in Columbia, Tennessee  for a “Mule Day.” many years ago.  President and Mrs. Polk  were in the area, as I’ve said, checking on their land holdings on the Yalobusha River.  It is likely that the president was known to Virginia Hawkins Carr’s father, Benjamin Hawkins, for he was Indian Agent for many years ( I’m reading the tea leaves a little now). However it could be that one of his farm managers lived in the Water Valley area.    Whatever the case Water Valley had a distinguished visitor for a short time.  

We do hope that all of you had a great day at the celebration.  Thanks for all the encouragements.  By the way, I’m still looking for a picture of William Austin Carr or a copy thereof.  

You can reach me almost any time at 23541 Highway 6 Batesville, MS 38606 (There’s that number I couldn’t remember when we talked, Roberta), 662-563-9879 or

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