Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shades of Hitchcock

There's a specific sound when hundreds, thousands of birds arrive en masse,.. flapping wings, cackles. THE BIRDS. It was beautifully quiet for a couple of hours at Tanner Spring, small birds coming to drink then darting off. Suddenly there was a change, first the sound, then the blackness. Grackles. Hundreds. Thousands. I've seen this before at migration time. It stops everyone in their tracks. You can't not gawk. A sweep of birds. A sky-full of birds. A carpet of birds. They arrive and swirl left and right, up in the air, down on the ground, like a giant seed vacuum cleaner. And it was inevitable that they'd come to the spring for some water. Little birds, beware. The gang is here. Grackles are very smart. They know that if they find a piece of hard bread they can dunk it and it will soften. But acorns don't melt. One grackle showed up with an acorn. Dunk, dunk. No help. It's very hard to take pictures if you're laughing your head off. If that grackle eventually swallowed the acorn there's no telling what its insides would look like.

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