Avian Admiration

picturesque

picturesque

Photo by Becky Jaffe

What I am supposed to be doing: Taxes.
What I am actually doing: Lurking in a drainage ditch, ogling egrets and daydreaming about the gods and evolutionary biology.
What I am supposed to be thinking about: our material net worth, measured in dollars.
What I am actually thinking about: our immaterial Net Worth, the immeasurable.

 

the circle of life

circle of lifePhoto by Becky Jaffe

waft

lift-2Photo by Becky Jaffe

 

The pelican is a silent animal. When she passes overhead, her quiet is contagious. Sometimes she leaves me speechless for a good while.

aloft

i looked up-2

Photo by Becky Jaffe

Aloft a draft,

afloat, adrift.

aflame

red-winged blackbird-2Photo by Becky Jaffe

 

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

by Wallace Stevens

I

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

peripheral vision

archPhoto by Becky Jaffe

I was doing something-or-other which seemed very important but which abruptly flew from my mind when I heard the Black Phoebe chirp.  Who can get any work done with all these beautiful distractions flitting about?

Happy New Year!

happy new year-4

Photo by Becky Jaffe

Every day offers a new opportunity to admire the world. I resolve to accept nature’s gracious invitation.

life and limb

grackle-4

Photo by Becky Jaffe

glide

glide

Framed

 

framed

Photo by Becky Jaffe

Phoenix

phoenix

Photo by Becky Jaffe

On a Wing and a Prayer

on a wing and a prayer

Photo by Becky Jaffe

startle

startle

Photo by Becky Jaffe

 

When one red-winged blackbird startles, the whole flock gets spooked. They flee the treetops like leaves scattered by a frightful gust. Moments later, their troubles abandoned, they settle down again, disappearing into the leaf cover. The branches are like the synapses of the mind, fretting and forgetting in turns, pulsing its worries into the wind all day.

what does it mean?

brown egret-2Photo by Becky Jaffe

 

Excerpt from the Leaf and the Cloud by Mary Oliver:

“It is our nature not only to see that the world is beautiful, but to stand in the dark, under the stars, or at noon, in the rainfall of light, frenzied, wringing our hands, half-mad, saying over and over: what does it mean, that the world is beautiful- what does it mean? The child asks this, and the determined, laboring adult asks this- both the carpenter and the scholar ask this, and the fisherman and the teacher; both the rich and the poor ask this (maybe the poor more than the rich) and the old and the very old, not yet having figured it out, ask this, desperately, standing beside the golden-coated field rock, or the tumbling water, or under the stars- what does it mean? what does it mean?”

glimmer

glimmer

Photo by Becky Jaffe

splay

splay

Photo by Becky Jaffe

Lurk

lurkerPhoto by Becky Jaffe

Whir

wild geese

Photo by Becky Jaffe

bob

circle

Photo by Becky Jaffe

wisps

wisps

Photo by Becky Jaffe

upbeat downbeat

upbeat

Photo by Becky Jaffe

wade

reedsPhoto by Becky Jaffe

just the two of us

just the two of us

Photo by Becky Jaffe

Squabble

the petty squabbles of birds_

Photo by Becky Jaffe

Where there is a Willet, there is a wave.

willits

Photo by Becky Jaffe