I sat outside most of the afternoon yesterday. Wind rustled the leaves in the trees, the sun shone bright in a crystal blue sky, and goldfinches entertained me throughout.
On my lunch break, I sat on the deck and watched a sunshine yellow finch bob on the seedhead of a spent echinacea flower. The spiky cone swayed on a long brown stem; the little bird swayed with it, unconcerned with the motion as it feasted on coneflower seeds.
After I ate, I needed more time outside to soak up the spectacular day. I don’t know how many more warm days are left to work outside. I made coffee and took it out to the garden along with my laptop and water bottle. I hadn’t sat out there in a couple of weeks, and the birdbath was green with pond scum. I dumped the basin, scrubbed it, rinsed it, and filled it with clean water from the hose before I sat down and opened my laptop.
The bird pool sparkled in the afternoon September light. I watched it from my chair under the dogwood tree, which is beginning to turn red as we approach October. Within minutes, two goldfinches lit on the edge of the bath, barely a body length away from me. I love these little birds. They’re small and bright and never fail to make me stop whatever I’m doing to watch them. They don’t have to do much; I just watch them exist as pretty little feathered creatures that flit and sing. The two finches looked at each other, then dipped their tiny beaks in the clear water to drink. They shook their whole bodies after drinking, like a dog does, from beak to tail, then fluttered their wings and flew away. I listened to the wind in the trees and then got back to work.