Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
There Was a Man With Tongue of Wood
There was a man with tongue of wood
Who essayed to sing,
And in truth it was lamentable.
But there was one who heard
The clip-clapper of this tongue of wood
And knew what the man
Wished to sing,
And with that the singer was content.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
In early March of this year I attended a conference in St. George, Utah (in the extreme southwest corner of the State), and, after the conference wrapped up one afternoon, I drove down to the Virgin River to enjoy the Spring sunshine.
When I got out of the car, I noticed a bird sitting on top of a telephone pole and singing the most beautiful music--a song somehow familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time. "I should know that bird," was my thought at the time. And then it hit me: the song wasn't repeating, but changing, and--just like that--mystery solved: I'd stumbled across a Mockingbird, my favorite bird of the East, here in the arid West and singing its heart out, like Mockingbirds do.
I love Mockingbirds. Unlike other birds, who repeat--endlessly--the same two or three note theme, Mockingbirds are masters of innovation. A single Mockingbird may have a repetoire of up to 40 different songs, many incorporating sounds from the world around it, including things like car alarms. Seriously. When we lived in Kensington, Maryland, and I often worked late into the night, a Mockingbird down the street would often start calling at about 1:00 a.m., and that particular bird loved car alarms, doing any number of variations on the same, basic, car alarm theme.
What a great bird. If you have them in the area where you live, consider yourself fortunate, 'cause they can sing like nobody's business.
(Photo courtesy of trisheroverton on Flickr; available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11437102@N00/384245868/.)