We Seattleites, people of the gray, know how to appreciate these rare days of sunlight. Like King Akhnaten of ancient Egypt, we are sun-worshippers, in our own way. As pharaoh wrote more than 3,000 years ago in his Great Hymn to Aten, the Sun God:
“You created the world according to your desire, while you were alone:
All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon its feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.”
The birds—who, after all, are descended from reptilian-like dinosaurs—seem to love the sun as much as we do. They bask in the warmth heating up their feathers to glowing temperatures.
I say “glowing” because the reds, oranges, and yellows of our more colorful residents seem to radiate their own light from within, rather than merely reflect light from an outside source.
Such was my impression of a pair of Yellow-headed Blackbirds who sprang forth from the Main Pond, leaped into the blue sky, and soared across my path the other day. The male’s Rudolph Valentino eyes were the black of burnt coal, the yellow of his head and breast like a solar flare, the white of his wing patches nearly incandescent.
A living bonfire of beauty that lifts the spirits of all who can catch the sun.