Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Sun-Drenched Wings...

High on the massive rock-strewn face of the dam, turkey vulture shuffles its lanky frame on the head of a rusty pipe.


Waiting as the damp and chill of darkness redouble their retreat.
Watching as light and warmth wink playfully from the depths of the riparian forest at its feet.

At long last, the sun's steady gaze elicits an instinctive response, millions of years in the making. No thought required; back turning, muscles flexing, feathers spreading, blood flowing, buzzard embraces the revivifying rays.





Away, my awe-inspiring flyer; 
gravity has no hold on you. 
Away to join that blazing star 
in its journey across the blue.

While I, with feet like stones on the rocky shore,
Watch in wingless wonder as you soar.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Black and White and Gray

The ubiquitous northern mockingbird, among the most common and recognizable songbirds of North America today. 

Black and white and gray.

This handsome specimen was hanging out in the wintry weather among the wild rosebushes along the Endor Trail and Greenway in Sanford, NC.

This now-abundant avian was nearly eliminated from the wild along the east coast of the U.S. during the 1800's;
such was the demand for these tireless crooners as pets. 

Why, a wise woman once wondered, does the caged bird sing?

It's song, she surmised, was a prayer.

Many is the morning I've awakened well before dawn to the sound of a decidedly un-caged male proffering song after song. A prayer perhaps, or maybe a plea...

Next time you're walking through the park or even strolling along a city sidewalk, keep an eye and ear out for the highly territorial mockingbird;
then stick around long enough for it to belt out a few bars...you'll be glad you did!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Murder, Exaltation, Parliament, Quarrel or Raft?

None of the above. 

A group of gulls is simply a flock.

Crowds of crows and larks and owls and sparrows and ducks may have more exotic brands, but when it comes to the controlled chaos that is a fast flying, free wheeling, fun loving, food chasing flock, gulls more than hold their own with any of the other feathered fauna.

Hunter's lens captured these brilliant aerial acrobats in action over the icy pond at Sanford's Riverbirch Shopping Center.

Frozen mid-flap, these raucous mavericks reveal a startling symmetry;

seemingly chaotic near misses become cleverly coordinated maneuvers.

Alike in altitude, direction, speed; these birds of a feather are masters of flocking together.

Each, however, maintains a degree of separation from its neighbors; 

aloft in the clouds,

alone in the crowd.