It has been hot and unusually dry in our “neck of the Florida jungle.” Every now and again you will hear a promising rumble of thunder, but the deluge never seems to follow.
As a result, I have had to water my parched, little herb garden every afternoon. Yesterday, as I lapsed into a daze with the hose in my hand, I heard the distinct chirping of a cardinal. I looked around trying to find where it was, eventually locating him high up in the fronds of the canary palm by our driveway. The little guy was staring straight in my direction and creating quite an impressive ruckus. I figured he was probably waiting for me to leave so he could sip some water from the wet leaves.
I guess I wasn’t moving fast enough because he suddenly swooped right down towards me and landed only a few feet away on the top branches of a nearby bush. He stood up straight and tall, puffed out his little chest and began chirping up a storm again, all the while glaring right at me.
Now I don’t “speak bird”, but I was pretty sure I knew what he wanted, so I slowly redirected the gentle arc of water coming from my hose so that the spray fell directly on his head.
This little red cardinal spent the next three minutes bathing and preening and shaking himself with giddy abandon. When he was thoroughly soaked, he flew away.
And that little encounter made my day.