When I was a little girl…

“When I was a little girl,” she told me, “my parents took my brothers and me to the Grand Canyon. You can actually see all that space over the canyon, you know. I never forgot its breadth, how delicate the colors of the rocks and the sky and the trees were that hung in it. I wanted to fill that space up, to be inside it like a bird, graceful, rising, falling, flying long, winding spirals from the rim down to a landing far below.”

~ Barry Lopez, from “Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren


Notes:

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Source: Photographer: Perdita Petzl from Flow Art Station – Hilarious Winners of the First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’  (Thank you Susan)

5:00 PM Bell!


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

T.G.I.F.: Friday. Yesssss…..


Source: gifak-net

T.G.I.F.: Does this bird make my butt look big?


Source: Lilac Breasted Roller bird sitting on a zebra from NajivuniaKuwaMkenya‏ (via Cheetah Camp).

A Big Year

bird-bluebird

The birding was my salt, the thing that was missing, that essential amino acid I couldn’t get from anywhere else. It gave me life and reminded me that I was part of life. […]

Some people experience serenity by seeing their home team win, others by spending time with a loved one or racing downhill on a mountain bike. For me, it’s watching birds—seeing them, identifying them, wondering what they’re doing, marveling at their powers of navigation, or simply taking in their exquisite beauty.

I love birds.

~ Neil Hayward, “Lost Among the Birds: Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year

 


A big year is an informal competition among birders to see who can identify by sight or sound the largest number of species of birds within a single calendar year and within a specific geographical area.

Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn’t want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job…so instead he went birding…Neil shocked the birding world by finding 749 species of bird and breaking the long-standing Big Year record. He also surprised himself: During his time among the hummingbirds, tanagers, and boobies, he found a renewed sense of confidence and hope about the world and his place in it. (Source: Amazon)


Photo: Bluebird by Joan Schulz via Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota

Sunday Morning (Find a little sky)

bird-on-wire-jpg

Now when I hear birdsong, I feel an entry to that understory. When I am feeling too squeezed on the ground, exhausted by everything in my care, I look for a little sky. There are always birds flying back and forth, city birds flitting around our human edges, singing their songs.

If the wind is going the right way, some birds like to spread their wings and hang in the air, appearing not to move a bit. It is a subtle skill, to remain appreciably steady amid the forces of drift and gravity, to be neither rising nor falling.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation 


Notes:

Saturday Morning

western-grebe-jpg

But we had long ago shed our busyness. The basic measure of time, the tempo around which we arranged ourselves, the water lapping, the sky slowly changing from paper white to cobalt blue, was the tempo of boating retirees. Or maybe it was the tempo of firebrand revolutionaries on a wildcat strike against industry. Either way, we were Not Working. We had desynchronized from productive time frames. My chronic sense of being late for some appointment dissolved. I heard the clicking of the musician’s shutter and looked up to see the western grebe stretching and spreading its wings. Then the western grebe retracted its wings and went back to floating.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation 


Notes:

Just for the joy of it

bird-chicadee-branch-jpg

What is worth singing about? What if the song is too small? Books will tell you that birds sing for a number of reasons— to call to each other, to warn of predators, to navigate, to attract mates. But I wasn’t so much interested in what the books believed. I wanted to know what the musician believed. “Why do birds sing?” So, at the end of our first bird walk together, I asked. I wanted him to say they sing because they have to, because they must, because it is part of their very essence, an irrepressible need. […]

Slowly the musician nodded his head. Finally, he said, “Okay. It’s possible that birds may sing just for the joy of it.” I don’t know why his response made me so happy but it did.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation 

 


Notes:

the experience altered him

bird-in-hand

The musician became a bird lover at the aviary. He tells a story of holding a dying finch one day and feeling overwhelmed by its tiny heartbeat. He had never studied a bird so closely before, never observed its delicate and immaculate plumage, and the experience altered him.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation 

 


Notes:

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