Many birdwatchers will know this feeling, I've no doubt. It's early in the morning, the silvery half-light is just beginning to infiltrate the bedroom, and dawn is at least a hour away. You're snuggled under the covers, not totally asleep, but drifting deliciously, knowing that today you can sleep in - you don't have to get up til you feel like it. You're just about to roll over when you hear it: a bird you don't recognize, a bird you're certain you've never heard before and isn't on your life list. But you know from experience in springs past that it's still way too dark to make an ID, even if you could get out there to catch a glimpse of it. And besides, by the time you did get yourself up and into half-decent shape to duck out your back door, the bird will almost certainly have moved on. So you lie there, trying desperately to memorize the song so you can find it later. The one I heard this morning was a lively, almost vaudevilian "yada-yada-ya-da-da...buzz." I got excited! This one is so distinctive, I just know I'm going to be able to find it! (insert Jeopardy buzzer noise here)
I have 2 CD sets of birdsongs. One is "53 All-American Bird Songs and Calls" and the other is a 3-CD set of Eastern/Central birds from the prestigious Roger Tory Peterson "Birding By Ear" series. I laid down some serious bucks for that baby, let me tell you. And between the two, I have never ID'd a single bird! For one thing, using them is very frustrating, because they don't have a separate band for each bird. The 53 birds is grouped in sets of three, and the Peterson isn't grouped at all. You can't FF the remote to find anything in that grab-bag of songs and calls! So I made some coffee and went online to check out the WAV files. At least there you can check out songs one at a time, but...but...it's still a feathered needle in a giant haystack of possible birdsongs. Besides, by the time you've listened to a couple dozen warblers and vireos, you're starting to doubt you'd recognize the little performer if he was sitting right on top of your monitor. And so, the sun is now up, the bird is long gone, either to continue migrating northward, or back to sit on the nest. And here I sit, too. The coffee's gone cold, CDs are scattered on table, foiled once again! Sound familiar, anyone?
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.