You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 30, 2010.

The past 24 hours has seemed the right time to reread parts of Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez. Not that I’ve ever visited the Arctic.  And ice is part of the bargain living at our latitude.

Ice is habitat, among many other things.  We see some, but if it was 20 in the sixth boro this morning, it was at least 10 degrees colder a single latitude farther north, and that means crossings like this, less than 50 miles north of New York City.

We catch a glimmer of the Arctic here in winter, as birds from the North migrate in and travel around in formations like the one beyond Comet.

The goose in the middle came in for a landing, over-extending forward, and needed to use the underside of its neck as a skid plate.

Buffleheads are the first migratory birds I notice each fall.

Gulls–most sorts are here all the time, although occasionally unusual gulls appear.  Stowaways?  Torm Margarethe and Doris Moran await clearance to enter.

Egrets fish, undeterred by having their feet in freezing water, although

a few weeks back in Chincoteague, a sole pony offered rides to a flock of birds.  Tender-footed ones, perhaps?  Really . ..  not a single bird rested on any other pony.  What was the social contract?

Watching these Brant geese swim out  (I thought of them  as surfers headed out beyond the breakers) through the wake of Comet, I recalled Lopez writing about snow geese:  “what absorbs me in these birds, beyond their beautiful whiteness, their astounding numbers, the great vigor of their lives, is how adroitly each bird joins the larger flock or departs from it.  And how each bird while it is part of the flock seems part of something larger than itself.  Another animal.  Never did I see a single goose move to accommodate one that was taking off, no matter how closely  bunched they seemed to be.  I never saw two birds so much as brush wingtips in the air, though surely they must.  They roll up into a headwind together in a seamless movement that brings thousands of them gently to the ground like falling leaves in but a few seconds.  Their movements are endlessly attractive to the eye because of a tension they create between the extended parabolic lines of their flight  and their abrupt but adroit movements, all of it in three dimensions.”

That “part of something larger than itself” makes itself visible as a flock of starlings moves through a tree with berries, a fruit crop reaped by an insatiable harvesting machine.

Without this cold season, I’d never have time to reread the books I savored before.  Nor would I find new ones.

The top foto comes from Paul Strubeck, crew on Cornell, who took the foto near Kingston.  I’ve seen eagles but never gotten a good foto.  Thanks, Paul. The next foto–kayaker passing eagle–comes from the flickr stream of ninjaracecar.  Thanks for putting these on flickr, ninjaracecar.  All other fotos here are mine, including the one below of my 28-year-old boss.  The green one.   For some really exotic bird fotos, see the ODock.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 404 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments? Email Tugster

My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

Archives

free web page hit counter
January 2010
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 404 other followers