Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Birds


Do you remember the old Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds? Tippi Hedron in her pillbox hat and white gloves, getting out of her car to pump gas, and being attacked by, you guessed it, the birds? This fall, we seem to be in the flight path of some major migrations, and several times now, I have found myself in the middle of a swirling, whirling, cackling host of grackles. (Is there a noun that denotes a group of grackles, like a murder of crows?)





The first time it happened, I was driving my daughter to basketball practice. The car was totally surrounded, and so many birds were crossing in front of the car that I had to stop in the middle of the road. The sound of beating wings was palpable, even with the windows closed. It really freaked my daughter out, but I was sitting there with a big grin on my face -- too cool!


The second time was a few days later. I heard the sound of beating wings, and scratching bird feet on the roof, and their loud, raucous calls. I ran outside with my camera, and felt like I was in the middle of a maelstrom. Birds were in the sky, on the roof, in the trees. They were loud and, well, joyous. Does that sound silly? Maybe it was just that I was joyous, to be in the center of such a group. Somehow, though, they seemed excited to be going on their seasonal roadtrip. Are we there yet?


Then, in a rush of wings, they lifted up as one and wheeled through the sky, like a giant black velvet ribbon. 




Gone.

23 comments:

  1. Your picture illustrations to your story are great! That flocking of birds can be a freaky thing and they always seem to be in a frenzy this time of year!

    Have the Best of Weekends.....Rosie :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow - sounds breathtaking! What an amazing sight... love the photos - it really captures the moment!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mary, I know I've told you this before but....you should write a book, girl. You were just born to do this! Your pictures and your words make anything under the sun an experience. I LOVE reading your posts and look forward to them every single morning, with my first cup of coffee. Now, if I just had an entire book of yours to read......
    bj
    P.S. THE BIRDS" scared me so badly that I could NOT have felt the joy you did....!!! I'm a titty-baby!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a wonderful experience. Years ago, when we lived in Red Bluff, CA near some Bureau of Land Management property a neighbor called me out to the little lake nearby and thousands of trumpeter swans (she called them) were migrating and the lake was solid birds- I'll never forget it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ha, your post brought back memories of the movie...yep kinda freaky...but cool!
    Rose

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oohh!!! What great photos-I loved that film!xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the photos...sounds like a neat time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was cool! I really enjoyed reading that post about all the grackles. Do you suppose that their name is an example of onomatopoeia? Anyway, I think that it takes a special kinda gal to be excited about a "murder" of grackles. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great pictures Mary! How exciting. They are probably joyous because they are heading south to warmth. I am always happy when I head off to Florida:)

    Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  10. This happened in town last year. I had gone to town very early in the morning, most everyone was still asleep. All the trees and electric wires were covered in black birds, I'm not sure what they were but assume they were Grackles. It was barely daylight yet but you could see them against the horizon and you could hear them. It was a little bit eerie to begin with, probably because of the movie, but as I sat in my car watching them I realized that it was a phenomenon that doesn't happen often, at least not around here. I had my camera and took some pictures but it was too dark and they didn't turn out.

    You got some wonderful shots. How nice that you've gotten to witness their migration.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! I think I would watch from indoors -lol...
    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh! I think it would freak me out! But also be very intersting to see.. the flocks that pass over us, seem to get smaller each year.
    Hugs,
    Abbie

    ReplyDelete
  13. What amazing pictures! I'll bet that was exciting to be in the middle of that...although I think I would have been a little freaked out!

    Hugs,
    Dena

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, I bet that was a bit freaky! Love your photos! And I love that old Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds".
    Hugs,
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  15. That last picture is breathtaking...wonderful!

    Have a blessed day!

    smiles, kari and kijsa

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love that movie and I your story is wonderful with those photos! I may need to rent that movie again.. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Your table looks beautiful. Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't like that many birds in one place. I remember that movie and it gave me nightmares for weeks.



    Birds are so unpredictable.



    Jillian

    ReplyDelete
  18. I always think of the movie when I see lots of grackles too--we get tons of them here at different times in the year--they must have flown from our area to yours because we are not seeing a ton of them right now ;-) . Their loud squawking is a noise I would not refer to as joyful....although it is a cool noise when they are filling three of more tree tops. It was nice you could get some pictures!! Right now we are getting a flurry of little birds and lately they have been flying into our screens---really weird--they chase each other and bounce off of the screens---this is the first year I have seen this.....maybe there is something happening out there....dadadada (sung in an eeeeerie voice ;-) )

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great description of the scene. It's kind of spooky and I'd be grinning too because I love spooky! Great pictures.

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Can you tell me where to find red toile Christmas wrapping paper?
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!