BIRD SPRING FEVER
This week the birds began getting spring fever. Not just the Clay-colored Robins
starting their dawn calling, just a little, with their fluty, echoic burblings, and a
Mottled Owl whoah, whoah, whoahing next to the hut, but also the Scrub Euphonia with an
occasional plaintive syeeu syeeu, the White-fronted Parrots squawking almost too much, and
other birds like the Altamira Oriole who have been vocal all along but who now are raising
their volume and level of enthusiasm. Above, you can see an Altamira Oriole swinging on maturing
dangling fruits of a Spanish Cedar behind my hut.
Not only do you hear more birds but also see them more, partly because with the dry
season many leaves have fallen, opening up the forest, but also because migrants from up
North, after skulking quietly in the shadows since arriving, now forage more daringly,
often flitting near when snatching a fly or berry.
To the locals this is just what happens as the dry season gets underway, but to us to
whom such bird behaviors announce the approach of spring, it evokes all sorts of green,
It's good to feel springy, and to have so many years of spring memories stored up. It's
good to see and hear springtime hope and vigor swirling around, and know that it's bound
to increase during the next few weeks. Especially I look forward to the Clay-colored
Robins calling at their peak, when the polyphony of their continually ebbing and flowing
chanting evokes the auditory equivalent of submersion in a coral reef -- an ocean of
delicious forms, color and goings-on swirling all around.
I wish you could hear the Laughing Falcon calling from deep in the forest as I write
these words, and be as pleased as I am about that emotive message issuing from the forest
beneath this precise patch of blue sky, in the center of this big limestone block which is
the Yucatan, in this exact spot on little Earth so green and blue with white cloud-swirls
as it orbits the Sun so mathematically correct in its random part of our mediocre but
gorgeously spinning, sparkling galaxy, in this mysterious Universe in which we humans
can't detect, only infer, 96% of reality, the rest being what our greatest minds can only
name dark matter and dark energy, all this some kind of Something where illusion and
reality are both extremes with a Middle Path, which can't be described, only alluded to,
or perhaps experienced without realizing it.
How pretty is the singing of the birds.