Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Spiral Dance of the Chimney Swift:
At the World Sheep Festival Campground
Bethel MO:
Two Videos on You Tube of the Swift's Evening Sky Dance

 Natural History phenomenon fascinated all of the great naturalists and close observation of nature changed them. Leopold, Krutch, Muir, Darwin, Thoreau…Riveted by the natural world and Gaia’s vanishing wonders.

 So are we & our travels to the regional festivals always present opportunities for observing the natural world…
A Quiet Moment after Festival's Close

 Chimney Swifts, along with all of their avian kind are ancient creatures and their counter clockwise spiral stretches into ‘The Dark and Backward Abysm of Time’, to quote the bard.

 I’m sure they do not care, but they are my favorite little bird & always make sure not to disturb their nests in any dwelling…CO detectors are a good idea if you cohabit with them…

 The colony at the campground at the Bethel World Sheep Festival is the largest I have ever seen and rivals the spectacle at Carlsbad…As best figure, they always start to gather around the time of the boundary between Civil and Nautical Twilight…That’s around the time the first stars begin to shine in dark sky locations. Several thousand of them live in one old school chimney.

 The show lasts for about 15 minutes and they swirl round and round in a big social visit before diving into their vertical stack of a home…My own little colony of Swifts seem to get more vocal as the time draws near to migrate…

 I have looked into the eyes of a couple of them I have saved in the past & there is a brightly burning intelligence and spirit bound up in a very small and delicate package…

 Where did they live before we came along?
What are they saying to each other?
Do they look forward to their winter sojourn?
Where do they go in the winter?
What is up with the Counter Clockwise Spiral?

 The unanswered and unanswerable questions in natural history are always more fascinating than the things we have answered…

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