hummer shower-time

Have you ever seen a hummingbird take a shower? It might be one of the cutest things on this earth. Today I stumbled upon a little jewel, feathers fluffed and tail fanned, enjoying the drops and mist from an old-fashioned sprinkler in one of the UW's gardens. Standing far enough away so as not to disturb her, I watched and photographed as she spread her wings to catch the water, rub her beak repeatedly on branches, poof herself into a pom-pom, and buzz to keep close to the spray. After at least three minutes of this, she flew very close to where I was standing and looked pointedly at me, as if to acknowledge or greet me. Then she zipped off for a quick pollen snack at a flowering shrub nearby, stopped for a moment to rest and stretch on a vine, then went straight back for more shower-time. She looked completely content and happy, as if she were having such fun. It was difficult to pull myself away and head back to work; what a sweet encounter!