Sunday, March 7, 2010

On the Move

Red-winged blackbirds by the thousands are moving through Decatur on their way to wetter places north. They are one of our most common songbirds and considered pests by some, but who in this part of the country, where we see them only a few weeks in the spring and fall, isn't dazzled by their bright red epaulettes underlined in cadmium yellow against sleek dark bodies? And who isn't mesmerized by the ebb and flow of their flight patterns when they weave back and forth across the sky, like a giant undulating spotted cloud?

I was lucky enough to be already standing on the back deck of the house, one story above ground level, when this morning's flock of hundreds settled first into the bare tree branches around the perimeter of the yard with deafening chatter, then with a single swoop, onto the gound, nearly covering the back lawn. I didn't move, knowing how easily they startle. As I watched, some imperceptible signal alarmed them all into taking wing as one, heading up over the house top behind me, which meant they flew straight toward my head by the beating hundreds.

I stood firm against their rapid approach without a blink, feeling as brave as The Witch of Blackbird Pond. The visual impression left by those vibrating wing tops, made orange by the mix of red and yellow, and evenly saturating the ominous blackness that fluttered directly toward me was a natural work of art I will not soon forget.
Old photo/wrong season/oak trees in background are currently bare/but shows where I stood holding my ground against the blackbirds today. The Witch of Pinetree Deck? dkm

3 comments:

Niki said...

Oh Deb, I just realised what you meant about emails. Have added you as a friend and now waiting for your emails to arrive.

What a spectacular sight that would have been and very brave of you to hold your ground! :o)

Niki said...

Got them! :o) Click on my name highlighted in blue just above my comment. That will take you to my profile, then scroll down to 'my blogs' and click on wool'n'nuts, also highlighted in blue. You should arrive at my blog. :o)

dkm said...

Done deal. I'm now a follower. What a terrific and funny blog yours is. I'll enjoy it.