May 22nd, 2013 | Wild Kingdom
Hol and I went out for a walk after dinner. I stated that I was determined to hear a thrush. Their haunting, piercing song is a crucial rite of spring for me. I have been away from home for a while, so missed their return. I heard one at a distance the other evening, but tonight we not only heard a hermit thrush in ear-thrilling proximity, we could see it! In this video, if you go to full-screen mode, you can see the bird move from one branch to another near the middle of the frame. Thrushes are very private, secretive birds. (Not unlike my recently departed mother.) I’ve seen one before very briefly. But mostly they are invisible in the dusky forest.
Every year I drag out this bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem Spring…but every year it is true.
…Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing…
And here is the almost-full May moon rising after we got home from our bird walk.
Here is a video about the moon, thrushes, and veeries, that I made 6 years ago. The meadow where I filmed the moon is now fully grown up with pine trees. The passage of time is nearly unbearable.