Friday, October 21, 2011
Zonos under the Moon
Sometime during the night the roaring northwest winds subsided. Clouds moved through and gave way to clearing skies. The morning was freezing and a thick frost covered the prairie's grasses and plants. The sun was still below the horizon and the waning moon appeared as a shining jewel against the darkest part of the early morning sky. Even at a fair distance, I could hear the first beep-beep-beep calls of waking zonotrichia sparrows emanating from the line of willows and dogwood near the small springs.
The morning light worked to melt the frost and warm the sparrows as they perched in open branches like ornaments of feathered puffballs. After a while their beeps changed over to song fragments. The White-crowned Sparrows were doing a better job staying true to their tune, but in fairness to White-throated Sparrows, their melody isn’t quite as sweet. Geese and cranes passed over, rendering even more magnificence to the choir beneath the sun and the moon.
Only time spent in Nature provides me with such a profound primordial calm and moments of transcendence. Time seems to stop when I’m walking the paths at the prairie, admiring its bountiful and beautiful flora and fauna. Newly arrived birds I encounter feel like old friends, even though I realize such a sentiment is one-sided. It doesn't matter. It's more a connection and deeper understanding with myself, I suspect. I feel of no particular age and all my physical and emotional pains melt away.
All images © 2011 Mike McDowell