Hummingbirds are nature's helicopters, buzzing and hovering around flowers in a way that seems impossible for an animal. But that is why we're fascinated with them.
They're hard to find in the city, though if you hang a hummingbird feeder outside your window between late March and early April, you may attract some of them on their annual migration across the region.
However, if you want to increase your chances of seeing one, we recommend making a weekend getaway to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY. There, you'll find Pollinator Pavilion, an interactive outdoor art installation by artists Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood, which is described as a "fantastical architectural setting that offers miraculous moments in which individuals can encounter hummingbirds."
Pollinator Pavilion is a 21 ½-foot-high, painted wood, architectural confection draped with flowers, plants, and paintings by the artists. It's designed to attract hummingbirds, allowing you to meditate on their essential role a pollinators of flowers and plants.
The structure itself resembles something out of the Victorian Era, which seems only appropriate: Cole, whose house and studio occupies the site, was one of the leading painters of the Hudson River School during that period. His work is in collection of The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, but he's probably best known to New Yorkers for "The Course of Empire" a series of paintings at the New-York Historical Society that depicts the rise and fall of civilization—a topic which seems especially pertinent right now.
The Pollinator Pavilion, however, offers a respite from our troubled moment and not just because of hummingbirds: The location also offers spectacular views of the Catskills.
The project opens on Aug 7 and will remain on view until October 0f 2021; you can find more info about it here.
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