I hear a rustling of wings and turn to see a Coopers hawk awkwardly plunge into a low-lying orange flowered lantana bush. Given plenty of warning by the noise, a house sparrow scampers out from under the bush and gets away.
The hawk shakes off his failure and alights on top of a nearby reddish fence. He puffs up his chest and looks around for prey. To his left is a lush green hedge full of large yellow hibiscus flowers.
Two hummingbirds eye the bright yellow flowers from the blue sky above. The petals look like fingers softly beckoning the birds to come and taste their sweet nectar. The hummingbirds skate around high in the sky, considering their options. I watch the two birds hover above, sometimes dipping closer to the flowers. They seem to ignore the hawk. The light brown hawk is small and has some fuzzy feathers. Is this a baby hawk? Is this his first time hunting? He must be hungry. I don't know whom to root for, so I stand quietly across the street and vow to let nature take its course. I smile as I watch the hummers make graceful figure eights in the soft sky.
The hibiscus flirts, so the birds fly a little closer and my eyes widen. The hawk alerts. One hummer dives toward a yellow flower and I gasp. In my family, when a hummingbird appears in our line of sight, it represents our deceased mother, coming to congratulate or console those of us she loved.
Instinctively I fly across the street, yelling and flapping my arms to disrupt this dance and all the winged creatures flee. Sometimes you have to choose a side.