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Phil Simon, professional artist

by Phil Simon
(Lafayette, Calif., U.S.A)

This last year my wife and I had a couple of feeders that we maintained for the hummingbirds. We live in Northern California in the San Francisco East Bay. My guess is we were a bit tardy refilling our feeders because of what happened to me this particular morning. I woke up as usual around 7am, made a cup of coffee, and was feeling very at ease with myself as I stepped outside for the fresh morning air. Standing just outside the kitchen door I heard a whirring sound and suddenly there were two hummingbirds hovering directly in front of me at eye level. I think they looked in earnest as they shifted positions slightly, but always hovered in front of me, looking right at me. Feeling quite at peace I was enjoying this communion of sorts when one of the hummingbirds flew onto my shoulder and remained there for about 5 seconds. Then he joined the other, both hovering in front of me, then they raised up slightly higher, gave me one final piercing look, and then off and away they flew. I felt a strange kind of joy in the aftermath of this brief encounter...and suffice to say, my wife and I were much more attentive to the feeders thereafter. I doubt I will ever forget this experience.

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