Of the three-hundred plus Trochilidae in the words, the Ruby Topaz Hummingbird is by far my favorite. Capturing this image required setting-up and waiting patiently for three days. Having photographed hummingbirds before in the Caribbean, I discovered commonly seen species such as the Copper-rumped, White-necked Jacobins, and Green Hermit for the most part will stay within close proximity to humans. On the other hand any sudden movements and the skittishly elusive Ruby Topaz will hide within deep brush until its next feeding.
Witnessing how the iridescent red and yellow jewel-toned feathers glitter brightly in the sun and perhaps you’ll decide to wait patiently too. I will admit there is something primal and very exhilarating about stalking through thick vegetation with a machete in hand.
Fast-forward — it’s Sunday, the 7th of January 2018, and it is one of the coldest winters Northeastern US has experienced in nearly two decades. Glancing at my phone, the weather advisory warns the outdoor temperature is zero degrees Fahrenheit but it feels like minus six. As I look through the window of my home and across the grayed-out, frost-ravaged valley, the only signs of life I see are puffs of white smoke bellowing up from surrounding rooftop chimneys.
Turning and walking towards the dining area, suddenly a bit of visual warmth envelops the room causing me to forget how bleak it was outside. Pausing to absorb the glow emitting from the photograph of this feathered Rembrandt, my mood lifts and I become happier as I think about my upcoming adventure photographing warm evening sunsets on the tropical beaches of St Lucia.