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.

White-crowned Sparrow

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.

White-throated Sparrow

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.

White-crowned Sparrow

All images © 2011 Mike McDowell