Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Surprised by Beauty and Song


 We had a lovely buildup to a real thunderboomer last evening. I was mowing when the clouds began to gather.  I shut the mower off and got off to watch the dramatic cloud-play going on above me as the sun began to set.  Earlier that day I had been drawn outside by an unusually loud cacophony of birdsong.  I stepped out the back door and saw that the Big Elm was full of an unusual cast of characters.
    There were pairs of Cardinals, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers and their not yet mature son. There were a few English Starlings, many beautiful, slender Blackpoll Warblers (mostly yellowish females but a few black-capped males), sparrows of various stripes, Red-Winged Blackbirds, the resident hummingbirds, Mockingbird, Tufted Titmouse, several Carolina Wrens (those that had nested in the tree house I suppose), and at least one scraggly Robin. There were no Cedar Waxwings that I noticed, although I expected them. Sometimes they come in waves and rest here.
     I don't know why all of these friends showed up today at the same time, gifting me with an impromptu concert. I imagine only the warblers were visiting and the others came from the trees and fields along the creek to investigate. Maybe the advancing storm set them moving. The Blackpoll Warblers don't usually begin their migrations southward until the middle of August and I have never seen them here before. All the other birds live here in the summer months, so I can't help thinking they too were curious about the newcomers.
     Whatever the reason, the mixture of all their songs was incredibly beautiful, though short-lived. They were only here for about 45 minutes, resting in the shade, and then rose in a flurry and were gone.
      I'll take it. A surprising, melodious blessing on a horribly hot July afternoon. 

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