Monday, May 14, 2012

Bird of the Day X 3

Swallow. Perhaps Cliff Swallows since these birds do not exhibit the "deeply forked tail" of the barn swallow.

Yesterday, as we were enjoying my patio, my friend Michael pointed out the mud nest under my rafters. Wasps, we thought. Then today as I was washing my windows, I noticed that the nest has quite a large entrance. I put it all together then--the swooping chattering birds outside my living room, the mud nest.

And as a bonus, a Great Blue Heron flew over this evening, its legs stretching out behind like a travel trailer. The lines, "Jane, Jane tall as a crane," popped into my head. I studied Edith Sitwell's poem in high school.

Here's the full text. If herons could be domesticated, I'd have one and call it Jane--even though herons and cranes are different birds.

Jane, Jane
Tall as a crane,
The morning light creaks down again;

Comb your cockscomb-ragged hair,
Jane, Jane, Come down the stair.

Each dull blunt wooden stalactite
Of rain creaks, hardened by the light,

Sounding like an overtone
From some lonely world unknown.

But the creaking empty light
Will never harden into sight,

Will never penetrate your brain
With overtones like the blunt rain,

The light would show
(if it could harden)
Eternities of kitchen garden,

Cockscomb flowers
that none will pluck,
And wooden flowers
that 'gin to cluck.

In the kitchen you must light
Flames as staring, red and white,

As carrots or as turnips, shining
Where the old dawn light lies whining

Cockscomb hair on the cold wind
Hangs limp,
turns the milk's weak mind...
Jane, Jane,
Tall as a crane,
The morning light
creaks down again!

AND, I may have seen a Red-Billed Tropic Bird. Maybe. It seems unlikely, given the range, but it's the closest I can come to the white, long-tailed bird with the orange beak that flew over about 4:00 this afternoon.

Who knows what I'll see "when the morning's light creaks down again."


Elizabeth said...

I have never heard that poem before -- fantastic, right? And your post is perfect, photos and all. I think I'm going to have to say that I can't wait to come visit in every comment. I can't wait to come visit!

Ms. Moon said...

Great blue herons are amazing. And funny. Sort of like dogs. I remember one summer when a great blue would follow Glen around when he was netting bait and almost demand that Glen throw him fish. He would get closer and closer and wait, very patiently, and eat and eat and eat.
Aren't birds wonderful? You are rich in birds. YAY!

Suz said...

what a delight