An advantage of washing dishes is being able to watch the birds that come to the birdbath outside the kitchen window.
A wide variety of birds visit the birdbath for a drink or a bath — cardinals, mockingbirds, chickadees, catbirds and brown thrashers are some of the regulars.
Sometimes I get to see migrating birds, including cedar waxwings and robins that I photographed a few months ago.
What a nice surprise a few days ago to look out at the birdbath, while washing dishes, and see a male Baltimore oriole.
I stopped washing dishes, dried my hands and grabbed my camera. I took these photographs from the kitchen window.
Just as I thought the oriole would fly off, he waded back into the deepest part of the birdbath’s water and did another round of enthusiastic bathing. He would dip himself and do what seemed to be somersaults to get every body part — and every feather — cleaned.
I continued to take photos and waited for him to do a final shake of his feathers to smooth them out. But he didn’t do that.
His feathers were fluffed up from his latest swirl through the water when he looked my way and the hopped into the air and flew off.