Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bird World in Motion

The ancient Celts had a special reverence toward the Bird World, which they called the “ealtain” or “ealt nan ian,” (ref: Carmichael, “Carmina Gadelica”). Taking notice of the Bird World and being mindful of how it truly is its own realm enhances the daily walk.

On Monday, I saw huge numbers of robins in a field. They weren’t immediately visible, because of the way they spread out amidst the corn stubble; others were roosting in the adjacent wood margin, and were heard more than seen. A flock of blackbirds surrounded an interior pond, and some were calling, but their okarees were muffled and weird—not the clear, spring-like calls I’d heard back on the 12th. On Tuesday, bluebirds were moving through my copse; I haven’t seen many bluebirds this year, but then I’d been getting more temp work in the spring and summer. The calls of jays are regularly heard, and today, I see a constant stream of them through my copse. They don’t travel in flocks as such, but in a spread-out sort of line. My best experience of jay migration was while staying at my Dad’s beach house on the north shore of Lake Michigan, when bluejays were streaming across the dunes of Michibay, in a continuous west-moving line past the big picture window that looks out on the dunes and the lake. (I have similarly seen hawk migrations there.) Flickers, and of course, Canada Geese and Crows are regularly heard. However, since we’ve been having frosty nights, the frogs and insects are no longer a part of the sound environment. Strange to think, I could still hear cicadas as recently as September 30th, (which is supposed to be rather late for them).

1 comment:

Marian said...

Yes, the birds connect us to the Ancients and to the future. They travel upward with the Gods. Life is such a tapestry with the interwoven threads tightly bound. Even those who don't see--dont accept this--don't realize that we are all a part of the whole, ARE a part of the whole. The birds are still interchanging here in Texas. We've not had our first freeze yet and flowers are still blooming well. Marian