I was reading when when the tiny, bright bird flew in through the window and attempted, I suppose, to drink from the bright colours of my hair. To my credit, though it nearly surprised me out of my skin, I did not give in to my initial impulse to swat whatever was thrashing, panicked, a few inches away from my head. Instead I froze. I froze, and very gently began to turn, hoping sincerely that it was not a mouse, while putting my hand up, the better to support the creature as it was lifted from the cushion, held only by the tangled net of my hair. Imagine my surprise as I gathered the mystery in the palm of my hand, still swaddled in threads of hair, only to discover a hummingbird!
It was a beautiful thing, vibrant, green and red and amazing. I was astonished. Not only by the random luck of it, but the pure shock of discovering hummingbirds can be so far north. To my mind, they are practically tropical, another reason to love California. To discover one here in Seattle, a block away from the I5, against the backdrop of a gray, middling day, was shocking. It looked like a creature escaped from a fairy story, too much like a living jewel for rain or brick buildings, yet there is was, bound in my hair, beak like a black pin, feathers gleaming, chest thrumming, a lucid dream in the palm of my hand.