Dandelions and Hummingbirds - An Inspirational Story

glowing dandelion seed overlooking field

All Things Bright And Beautiful.


“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”
– Chorus from the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful”

It was 11 years ago. My wife Kathy and I attended a special Birmingham Audubon presentation at the Birmingham Zoo by Bob and Martha Sargent, the founders of the Hummer/Bird Study Group.

That evening, for about an hour and half, we sat spellbound while Bob described in great intricate detail the life of hummingbirds. He made us laugh, smile and fall in love with one of the smallest of God’s creatures.

He particularly touched my wife Kathy at a moment in her life she felt most vulnerable and afraid.

For nearly a year, we had been trying to have a child. After a couple of early term miscarriages, we were blessed again. We had learned shortly before the Sargents’ hummingbird presentation Kathy was pregnant.

We went to that fateful Audubon meeting because we wanted to know more about that tiny “always seemed to be in a hurry” bird that would gracefully greet us in our garden. Through Bob Sargent we learned a great deal more.

During Bob’s presentation, he described how the hummingbird would travel thousands of miles each year, and would arrive at the Sargent’s hummingbird feeders in St. Clair County at about the same time every year. The tiniest creature, with one of nature’s smallest brains, could find itself home.

But the most powerful story Bob gave that night was about hummingbirds and dandelions. He explained to the audience how hummingbirds carefully lined their nests with the delicate “fluff” from dandelions.

“If a hummingbird can make a safe and warm home of dandelion fluff, there is hope for me,” Kathy whispered to me during the presentation.

A few months later, Kathy and some of her artistic friends prepared for the birth of our daughter Whitney by painting her new room. Instead of painting the room blue or pink, we painted the room with hummingbirds and dandelions.

Today, a decade later, my daughter wakes up surrounded each morning in her room to the painted hummingbirds and dandelions.

Bob Sargent passed away on Sunday morning on Sept. 7.

I never got a chance to tell him how much his stories about hummingbirds, their annual treks across the world and their nests filled with dandelion fluff made my family’s life richer and more meaningful. During our family’s most vulnerable moment, through his bright and beautiful hummingbirds, he provided my family strength, courage and love.

In his memory.

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings. He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.”
– Second verse of “All Things Bright and Beautiful”

Source: https://weldbham.com/blog/2014/09/08/all-things-bright-and-beautiful-birmingham/

Story/Article by Pat Byington - September 8, 2014

Pat Byington is the executive director of Wild South. He can be reached at [email protected].