their hearts sludging nearly to a halt barely beating and if they are not soon

Their hearts sludging nearly to a halt barely beating

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their hearts sludging nearly to a halt, barely beating, and if they are not soon warmed, if they do not soon find that which is sweet, their hearts grow cold, and they cease to be. Consider for a moment those hummingbirds who did not open their eyes again today, this very day, in the Americas: bearded helmet-crests and booted racket-tails, violet-tailed sylphs and violet-capped woodnymphs, crimson topazes and purple-crowned fairies, red- tailed comets and amethyst woodstars, rainbow-bearded thornbills and glittering- bellied emeralds, velvet-purple coronets and golden-bellied star-frontlets, fiery-tailed
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2/18/2020 The American Scholar: Joyas Voladoras - <a href=''>Brian Doyle</a> 3/5 awlbills and Andean hillstars, spatuletails and pufflegs, each the most amazing thing you have never seen, each thunderous wild heart the size of an infant’s fingernail, each mad heart silent, a brilliant music stilled. Hummingbirds, like all flying birds but more so, have incredible enormous immense ferocious metabolisms. To drive those metabolisms they have race-car hearts that eat oxygen at an eye-popping rate. Their hearts are built of thinner, leaner fibers than ours. Their arteries are stiffer and more taut. They have more mitochondria in their heart muscles—anything to gulp more oxygen. Their hearts are stripped to the skin for the war against gravity and inertia, the mad search for food, the insane idea of flight. The price of their ambition is a life closer to death; they suffer more heart attacks and aneurysms and ruptures than any other living creature. It’s expensive to fly. You burn out. You fry the machine. You melt the engine. Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise and live to be
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  • Spring '10
  • SHANEHUNTER
  • Humpback whale, Brian Doyle, Blue Whale, Fin whale, Minke whale, Joyas Voladoras

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