Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SIGN OF THE TIMES


I saw another sign yesterday that late summer is getting ready to shift into fall. It was a huge flock of starlings. First they were lining the wires as I drove past the open fields and the golf course, then they rose as one, in a dark amoeba-like cloud that changed shape like a single living organism. I think in a certain sense, they were one organism, in the same sense that naturalists sometimes talk about a beehive or an ant colony as a collective. What a wondrous thing it is to see! If I could have safely pulled over and watched for a while, I would have. When I got home, I went to YouTube to look for videos of bird flocks in flight, and as usual YouTube did not disappoint. There are a lot of videos there of flocks changing shape on the wing; I thought this one was one of the nicest.






And to go with it, here’s a poem I wrote back in the late 80s when I lived in Calgary, Alberta, which includes a reference to a large flock of Bohemian Waxwings.


















Photo from Shutterstock, location unknown
Video from YT member dylanwinter 1
Poem by D. Godin

10 comments:

Sylvia K said...

I was just noticing the migrating birds here in Washington a day or so ago and had to sigh -- we really haven't had a summer, just a slightly extended spring. I do love it here, but I would have loved a little more summer and blue skies and sun! The geese are leaving in great flocks and I love to watch them.

bobbie said...

This is so beautiful! The poem is wonderful, the video is amazing, and the photo is lovely too. I have always been fascinated by flocks of birds like this. I lived for a while across from fields where we could sit on our front step and watch them swooping around every evening. Flocks of geese and other birds are so wonderful. Thank you for this.

Sian said...

I know that I have said before that I love your poetry, but this is so very graceful, subdued colours and gentle motion. Really, well done :o)

Kathiesbirds said...

Deborah, that video is simply incredible. I like the ending where he asks, "How good it that!" Your poem is simply lovely and fits the subject so well. It is a peaceful poem filled with longing and desire. I enjoyed it all.

a little bird said...

yesterday I noticed it the dark seeping in around 7 o'clock... goodbye summer!

magiceye said...

amazing picture and a beautiful poem!

Dianne said...

what a wonderful video! thank you!

your poem is lovely.

Mary said...

Oh what a wonderful poem -- really beautiful!!!

And that video is amazing. I have often thought of these flocks as a sort of living Moebius Strip -- never ending, and turning on itself in pure joy...

Squirrel said...

really beautiful post. stunning !

Quiet Paths said...

I've been intending to watch this video for a couple days now. It's a massive display; I've seen smaller flocks do this, namely waxwings, but never that number. I am astonished. Thank you so much for posting this. And... the poem you pulled out of your archives will be on my mind today: "behind the spruce and ash, the ember-colored edge of dusk". Just beautiful.