This tale may not respond to the question posed, yet shares a true event.

It is also healthy and sweet. Happy endings rather than mystery and sad/bad ends are my preferred writing space.

It all began with a power wash of our stucco-sided home, followed by significant window washing post-three months of cluster-f*** construction that occurred within twelve feet of our home. I feel certain that Casa Colando, which we’d named our home, breathed a sigh after the two cleansing rites and replied to my “Namaste.”

In rapid succession, replacements of the microwave and carpeting – necessary and planned prior to quarantine – were complete. Our wonky semi-new lounge chairs received a once-over (under warranty), to enable our release of lockdown angst and relax, refreshed, into the peace of our property. A-a-ah!

We’d reveled in the 3-month resurgence of nature when Californians couldn’t drive. Anywhere, except for necessities, such as food. Birdsong filled the fresh air, smog was banished, and wild critters such as quail thronged peaceably in our ‘hood. To shelter-in-place alongside us and cause us to feel less glum.

Our front door sports a gorgeous Dutch door, which we can open to the world so that the ocean’s breeze glides into the inner spaces of our home. The entry area is expansive and filled with light from a half-dozen skylights, imparting a warm welcome to all who enter.

A week ago, a plucky hummingbird took us up on that open invitation and flew into our entryway to explore our capacious entryway. We might not have known except a wild whirring followed by peck-peck-peck that surged during the silence of fast-forwarding to avoid commercials of our dvr-d shows.

Both of us bolted from our lounge chair to check out the unknown, unseen source.

We looked around. We looked out the opening of the Dutch door. We checked each room that opened off the entryway. Then, my husband looked up. Surprise! A tiny and curious hummingbird and flown in, likely beckoned by the several red items in the space. He was in one of our half-dozen skylights, furiously working to exit.

The bad news was: the openable skylights sported screens, so there was no escape except through the open door, where the chill, dark of the night air did not beckon.

First, I Google-searched and found several websites with how-to procedures. Alas, none suited our situation. with the reminder that hummingbirds were attracted to red, we strategized and put these items in place:

  • both outdoor lights on high beam
  • no longer used red glass candle holders placed in front of the lights
  • a ladder opened outside the open door windows with an attractive-to-hummingbirds plant in a pot, as well as red-colored sugar water in a ramekin, on the top step of the ladder.
  • the fresh-cut bouquet from Trader Joes in the middle ground between the other two red attractions

The bird, who’d worked and fretted overlong, formed his own plan. He’d discovered his berth-of-respite for the night: a curly twig stuffed in a decorative pot high on the entry shelf at 18 feet peak in the back of our entry area –


My husband and I retired for the night in our personal berth, projecting our sweet dreams onto the hummingbird’s plight.

In the morning, mutually refreshed, the hummingbird plopped onto the chamois cobweb sweeper on its telescoping-to-20-ft. pole and climbed aboard for a quick and uneventful sweep outside the open Dutch door window.

He immediately sped to the magnolia tree and its beckoning blooms. He was home.