The littlest birds stirred first this morning, their fine-crystal voices claiming the minutes before the raucous crows and seagulls set up their din, before the city’s machine and automobile roar rendered dumb animal life. This solstice it was the songbirds who ushered in the dawn, singing spun light from the northeastern horizon, pouring it into my neighbourhood, spilling a beam on the bench in my front yard.

I carried my coffee to the spot of golden warmth, and as I sat a Northern Flicker – no small bird, a flicker – hurled himself through the garden, so close the whoosh of his wings ruffled my hair. He perched on the roof and his red sash, gleaming in the new summer sun, was much appreciated by an Anna’s hummingbird. The hummer hovered before the flicker, and the two of them paused face to face, long enough to have a whole conversation.

Watching from below I wondered, what would these two discuss, should birds have discussions? Not American politics, I am sure. Not climate change, nor the economy. Perhaps they compared notes on the two evil neighbourhood cats that stalk them and theirs.

No, I decided. Today these two, so different in size and personality, came together to celebrate life on this first day of summer, to cheer on our Earth spinning through space as she nodded her northern face at the sun.

Copyright Deborah Jones 2018



Curious free range human. Creative writer, journalist, photographer

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