Parts of this entry rise a little above-average personal in nature. I don’t mean to make this an “alms before men” post. I want to try to show how easily— for me, anyway— thinking can slide between my experiences with animals and the ones I have with people. Also, I don’t remember ever having written down the “Hillbilly Dilly” episode noted below, and since the hummingbird called it to mind, after my not thinking about it for many years, I imagined the moment right for the telling.
April 22, 2008
At the cliff this morning, I find a colony of white-throated swifts fully active, hunting the wild blue, tangling into the wind gusts that stream through the canyon’s channel and splash against its rocks.
A vulture passes by, very low, slightly out from the ledge where I sit.
A swift just cut in quite close, the vrrrrr of its wings as they sliced air sounding like a miniature jet. A pair of hawks circle high overhead.
Will eagles come? I barely finish writing the question when I look up to see a golden eagle, juvenile or maybe second year, brown feathers flecked with white. As I gaze up at the eagle, a black-chinned hummingbird rises like a helicopter into my line of sight, directly between the eagle and me, probably examining the burgundy tones in my shirt, faded overall but most vivid in the cuffs.