We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Like many, I find hummingbirds absolutely fascinating. I mean, it's one thing if a bird can hover. That's pretty rare. Quite another if it can actually fly backwards, and almost as accurately and as fast as forwards.
One of the things the Intelligent Design people like to pull out is that evolution wasn't smart enough to invent the eye. It was, however, apparently smart enough to design a three-dimensional gyroscope. Like all birds, watch how still their heads are, no matter what gyrations their bodies are going through.
Their tail feathers also perform an interesting role. Notice how it's almost like the birds are hinged on a rod running through their wings and the tail feathers act as a 'tilting' mechanism. One quick flap and they tilt up or down on the axis running through their wings. Truly a marvelous animal.
When I was a kid I used to get as close to our feeder as possible and stand stock still. Eventually they get used to you and zoom on in.
What I really wanted to see closer were the epic aerial hummingbird fights between the males. They would smack into each other so hard you could hear it, which is something considering their size and weight.
I lived with a landlady once who was into them. I'd walk up to the feeders like you said and just let them get used to me. What I remember was how the vibrations from their wings was so intense close-up that you could also feel it as well as hear it. A very slick little creature.
I'm not much following the spat between evo & ID, just on the peripheral, so could you explain what it takes to design a three dimensional gyro? Are there components that could not function without the pre-existing operation of another of it's components?
Sorry, I'm no philosopher but, if evolution is "smart" enough to "invent" anything there must be agency involved. Therefore, if there is agency there must be some agent or as you implied, an inventor. In the case of the platypus the agent either fucked up or his sense of humor was certainly evolved.