At seven in the morning, South Fork, Colorado is Closed and a place to quickly drive through.
The Rainbow Grocery, down from the Rainbow Motel, opens at seven. The Rainbow gas station, next to the Rainbow Grocery, is open but their coffee is not worth a pause much less a stop.
Across the highway, as fifth wheels and pickup trucks pound past, the new Gallery Coffee Shop has lights on inside.
Waiting for seven thirty, in front of their locked front door, with last night’s raindrops still on outside tables and chairs, I sit in a dry spot and watch a tiny hummingbird.
If I stand and walk away from his feeder, he darts down and sticks his proboscis into one of the fake plastic flowers for sugared water.
When I raise my phone to capture his image, he jets away.
When the proprietor sees me, he unlocks and I order coffee, a pecan fried pie made by the Amish in nearby Monte Vista, and finally get a photo of my hummingbird, from inside the shop where he knows I can’t ambush him.
The western art on display took Frank thirty years to get to the point he can finish a small canvas in weeks instead of months and he tells me about his ” process of art. ”
It takes skill and patience to make all these little lines in the cowboy’s face, make the horse’s mane look real. He says he has been drawing since he was ten years old.and his wife has a business breakfast this morning with the girl’s club and will be back to take back the shop in a few hours.
Hummingbirds, I Google, are cold blooded and, at night, perch on a tree branch, let their body temperature sink to conserve energy, and go into a torpor.
In a torpor, hummingbirds can dangle from a branch by one foot and appear dead.
While we can’t hibernate, humans also know about torpor.