Yesterday evening my friends Catherine and Ed came over some noshes on the patio. After we ate, we moved the chairs right up to the breakwall (it was delightfully calm, so we could sit it what otherwise would have been the splash zone!) and watch a spectacular sunset. Flocks of Ring-billed gulls flew high into the dusk, headed off to one of the small Erie islands for a safe place to roost for the night, Common terms dive-bombed for fish, both a great blue and a white heron flew majestically by, while overhead, swallows and martins vied for aerial territory to catch midges. Even a lone Common goldeneye in juvenile plummage (something I'd never seen here in summer before) drifted quietly along. As we watched all the birds go by, we swapped birds stories. I described how I'd once seen a bluejay and a chickadee flying past my back window toward the birdfeeder. The chickadee miscalculated, and lightly hit the window, which caused the jay to pivot dramatically in mid-flight and try to catch the disoriented little 'dee. After a split-second tumble, the chickadee made a desperate recovery, shook off the hit, and was able to elude the jay. That was pretty dramatic, but then Ed told his bluejay story, which is even better.
Bluejays and their relatives (the Corvid family) have a rep for being among the most intelligent birds. Ed recounted how he saw a bluejay trying to make off with a small snake in the grass. He didn't know if the jay had actually killed the snake, but I wouldn't be surprised. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, the jay disappeared, to return shortly with another jay. Between the two, they were able to lift the snake, carry it up and drape it over a branch, where one jay pecked it in two, and each jay then got a half. I think that's a remarkable show of intelligence, not to mention communication. Would love to hear your "smart bird" stories!
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.