74 seconds of must watch TV

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“Now a year ago I put you a very similar video, but I’m telling you it’s not the same. Here you will see how a pair of blue tit examines the new home, builds the nest, lays the eggs and cares for the young. Don’t miss a detail” 🐣. 📹 Nest Box. pic.twitter.com/4S57xWigtV

— Barrufet del temps (@MeteoBarrufet) October 6, 2022

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Thank you

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call. (If you think your commute is too long…)

If you think your commute is too long, be glad you’re not a godwit.Each year around this time, tens of thousands of bar-tailed godwits migrate from Alaska to New Zealand and Australia. The 7,000-mile journey — the longest nonstop migration of any land bird — is completed in eight to 10 days of continuous flapping without stopping to eat, drink or rest.

The godwit’s ordeal is so extreme that, as one recent paper put it, it challenges “underlying assumptions of bird physiology.” Before the bird takes off, its organs shrink, its pectoral muscles grow, and it gobbles up insects, worms and mollusks to store fat for the long journey. One scientist called the godwits “obese super athletes.”

— Matthew Cullen, Evening Briefing, NY Times. September 20, 2022. 

TGIF: the herons…; and the world I’ve known; all fading past me into peace.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK with Great Blue Heron @ Daybreak. 5:55 a.m. 70° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Other photos from this morning’s walk here.
  • Post Title from Siegfried Sassoon’s poem titled: Falling Asleep

Walking. With Memoir (or Musings) of a Madman.

4:05 a.m. I step up to find that my digital scale is still on the fritz. First a lost wifi-connection, which I fiddled with for 30 minutes yesterday.  And now, it just flashes and stares at me. I step off and on again, but it will not read out my weight. Now if that’s not telling you Something...I stand on it, staring down at it, a few body movements away from heaving it out the 2nd floor window. I step off, stare at it again, and leave it alone (for now). I’m not done with you yet.

Here we go (again.) 799 (!) consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk to Cove Island Park.  Like in a row.

Humid. Breezy. 72° F. Low tide. 25% cloud cover. Few humans. Magnifico.

I walk.

And, there she is. A Black-Crowned Night Heron. For some reason, I’ve being seeing these birds everywhere. Like they are plants by Someone or Something extraterrestrial trying to send me a message. Look at her dummy.  Pause. Wait. Stand. Look. Watch. Contemplate. What’s the rush?

She’s certainly not my spirit bird, the cormorant.  But the anti-me. So patient. So stoic. So calm. Standing there in water up to her ankles waiting for breakfast.

So, I do. I stare at her.  But, there’s something else gnawing at me. It’s that super thin, long white plume growing from the back of her head.

And the question is why?

Who decided it needed to be white? And not blue, orange or black.

Why super-thin and not a feather?

Who decided there needed to be a plume at all?

And, of the billion things to look at this morning, why are you locked in on this plume?

Flaubert continues in Memoirs of a Madman and November (1901), and he didn’t have Google or the internet:

Madness is the doubt of reason.
Perhaps it ‘is’ reason.
Who can prove it one way or the other?


Notes:

  • Photos from Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park this morning, @ 4:52 am. to 5:45 am. July 13, 2022, 72° F.  More photos from this morning here.
  • Post title inspired by: “But for the man who watches the leaves trembling in the wind’s breath, the rivers meandering through the meadows, life twisting and turning and swirling through things, men living, doing good and evil, the sea rolling its waves and the sky with its expanse of lights, and who asks himself why these leaves are there, why the water flows, why life itself is such a terrible torrent plunging towards the boundless ocean of death in which it will lose itself, why men walk about, labor like ants, why the tempest, why the sky so pure and the earth so foul – these questions lead to a darkness from which there is no way out.” Gustave Flaubert, Memoirs of a Madman and November (Hesperus Classics, 2003)

Sunday Morning


George & Grace @ Daybreak. 5:40 am, May 29, 2022. 59° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here and here.

Walking. In a Flash of White.

Walking.  @ Daybreak.  Cove Island Park.  746 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row.

Fog. Dense Fog.  (Square alignment with mental state on 4.5 hours of sleep. Yes, we’re back b*tching about insomnia. And we were doing so good.)

No mystical Deer stepping out of the shadows. No Atlantic Gants preening. No Swans-A-Swimming. No Humans. And one Human rapidly losing enthusiasm here.  I adjust the backpack, strap on left shoulder biting. Damn, why so heavy today.

I walk.

The shoreline is layered in fog so dense, air brushes my face with infinitesimal droplets of rain.

My footfall sinks an inch or two into the beach sand.

I walk.

There’s a white flash.  It’s moving too quickly. Auto focus can’t lock in on her, can’t get a clear shot of her in the fog soup.

An Egret.  Legs tucked together tightly, platform diver, wings flapping ever so slowly, all of it keeping her airborne.  Miracle. All of it.

And White. Oh, so white.  Snow white against the all-world gray morning.  A palette no computer can replicate.

Why this white? This so white.

Why not black, or green or fuchsia? Why just egrets this white.  Why not all Birds-of-a-Feather be this white?

And who decided?

And I stand watching. Standing in the same fog. With the same heavy backpack. Yet, all of it is lighter.  Clearer.

Delia Ephron, in her “Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life“: “Out of this convoluted, mixed-up thinking, I manage to spin a little hope…I do feel that I was thrust into darkness and given back light. And it opened me up to feeling part of a larger world, I’m not sure why…Like everyone else, I have a time here and it will be over…This gift could be snuffed out at any moment.” 

The image persists… an old black and white photo decaying on its edges…the egret wing flaps…her legs elegantly tucked tight behind her, she flies. Lightly, child. Lightly.

This gift could be snuffed out at any moment.


Note:

  • Photo: Egret, this morning. 5:08 a.m.  Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  More Photos from this morning here.
  • Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
  • Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Gökotta

Gökotta (n., Swed.)

“a dawn picnic to hear the first birdsong”; the act of rising in the early morning to watch the birds or to go outside to appreciate nature.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK – (Wet) Baby Blue Jay.  6:50 a.m., May 7, 2022. 50° F & Rain
  • Quote: Thank you The Hammock Papers

723 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row. And the Eagle has landed.

Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park.  723 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row.  And the Bald Eagle has landed.  Picture quality: Blah. No zoom lens. But we’ll take it!

First live spotting in my lifetime. 6:16 am. 40° F, feels like 31° F.  Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. April 28, 2022.  (Backstory: Walking. When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.)

Unselfing

Beauty, (Iris) Murdoch argues, gave us an opportunity for an “unselfing.” She writes:

I am looking out my window in an anxious and resentful state of mind, oblivious of my surroundings, brooding perhaps on some damage done to my prestige. Then suddenly I observe a hovering kestrel. In a moment everything is altered. The brooding self with its hurt vanity has disappeared. There is nothing now but kestrel. And when I return to thinking of the other matter it seems less important.

Chloé Cooper Jones, Easy Beauty: A Memoir (Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, April 5, 2022)


Notes:

  • Kestrel. Cardinal. Same. Shot taken of Red Cardinal overhead this morning @ 8 am in backyard.
  • Photos from Daybreak walk this morning here.

T.G.I.F. 5:00 PM Bell.

Lightly Child, Lightly

Drifting, what am I like?

A gull between earth and sky.

—  Du Fu, (712- 770). “Thoughts While Traveling At Night”, trans. by Vikram Seth, in Three Chinese Poets: Wang Wei, Li Bai, and Du Fu


Notes:

  • Photo – DK @ Cove Island Park on March 21, 2022. Quote via antigonick
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Tuesday Morning Big Stretch!


My Swan in a Big Stretch @ Daybreak. 6:40 am, Feb 22, 2022. 34° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  Backstories on my Swan here. More pictures from this morning here.

Just She, and then there were …


Went out yesterday afternoon in a flash winter weather advisory (a 20 minute snow squall / white-out) to be welcomed by another most pleasant surprise. Backstories on my Swan here.

Saturday Morning

Other times when I hear the wind blow

I feel that just hearing the wind blow makes it worth being born.

—  Fernando Pessoa, The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro

 


Notes: Photo – DK @ Cove Island Park.  Poem: Thank you The Vale of Soul Making

Walking. Swan-ful.

6:10 a.m.

Dark. 12° F, feels like Nasty.  Wind cuts through all the layers. Shiver.

I’m driving down Weed Avenue, eyes scan The Cove.

When she’s here, even in the blackest of Nights, there’s no missing that White Coat, those 25,000 feathers, that Beacon.

Sadness, I need your black White wing.” (PN*)

I drive on, now 500 yards from the park.

There!

I pull off the highway, grab the camera, and approach.

I offer her a soft, short whistle.

She pops her head up, “Hey there Mister, All Good Here.”

Then, she tucks her head back under her wing, and back to sleep.

I pause watching her for a moment, and then glance up at Polaris, shimmering overhead.

Yes, O.K. All good here too.

This World can keep on, keep spinning on its axis.

 


Notes:

Walking. Swan-less.

5:35 a.m.

Dark. Wet. Rain. 43° F. I pan through the hour by hour Weather Channel Forecast:

5 am: “Light rain.”
6 am: “Light rain.”
7 am: “Light rain.”
8 am: “Light rain.”

and so on, hourly until 7 pm.

“Wintry mix likely for the next several hours.”

I sit up in bed. No chance, you are going out in that.  

Mind drifts to my Swan. She’s out there. Rain, raining down on her coat.

I google ‘swans’ to find Biology of Swans. “Swans have about 25,000 feathers on their body – the vast majority of these are tiny, little feathers situated round the head and neck.” 

Somehow this puts me at ease. For a moment.

25,000 feathers must keep her warm, as she dives to feed in the frigid waters of The Cove. She can’t be cold. She can’t be hungry. 25,000 feathers.

I pull the covers up, and close my eyes. Damn it. I need to get to The Cove. [Read more…]

Miracle. All of it. (Take 103)

The first shot of her was taken yesterday. Mid-morning. The others, from this morning.

I went back out yesterday after my daybreak walk, the winds were howling. Like I hadn’t had enough of this?

She was 50 yards out.  She spotted me, and there was no doubt of her intentions. Human, Food.  She tried to crawl up onto the ice and get to the shoreline. Unsuccessful.  I walked further down, she was in full pursuit, like she was panicked that I would leave. Come on Man, I’m hungry.  I kept walking. She followed. I had nothing on me. Nothing.

I turned, got into the car, didn’t look back. Couldn’t look back.  You do know that feeding them is wrong, right?

It was colder this morning when I went out. Much colder.

A large part of the cove was frozen over.

She was on my mind.  She hangs with a flock of Canada Geese. I haven’t seen her mate in months, likely basking in the Gulf of California.

And there she was.  Sleeping soundly. Ice solidly formed around her.

And I stand, watching.

She responds to a whistle, but I couldn’t disturb her.  Both hands in my pockets, the right scooping half a cup of itty bitty Nyjer seedlings, which I sift through my fingers.

Another day Girl. Another Day.


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 6:24 to 7:19 am, January 30, 2022. 9° F, feels like -2° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT Other photos from this morning here. Related Swan posts: Swan1
  • Post title Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.

Wait…


Imgur: Falcon, by Dave Mcarthy

as difficult to attain as a pair of wings and a halo

9/13/42. The most spiritual and “beautiful” literature has already been written—in the Bible, in the Greek dramas, in their philosophies. What we have to attain is at best the material representation, a poor substitute for the eternities we cannot logically hope to emulate. Spirituality in our day is as difficult to attain as a pair of wings and a halo.

 Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. December 20, 2021. 22° F, feels like 16° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

T.G.I.F.

Your mother’s favorite bird was the one in front of her.

—  Richard Powers, Bewilderment: A Novel (W. W. Norton & Company, September 21, 2021)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:23 am, September 24, 2021. 58° F.  Heavy Rain.  Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT

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