A great blue heron flew by my house this morning about 6:30; it was misty and the mountains were hidden in clouds. The heron had its legs out straight and kept its wings moving in a slow, powerful cadence. I knew where it was going---fishing in the river down in the valley. Later it would turn to the west and head for a island on Lake Champlain where there is a long-standing colony of herons. They are wonderful creatures, and I always feel that it is a good thing to see them.
Across the valley from out house there is a gap or pass in the mountains. For reasons we will not understand migrating birds use that pass as a sign post on their route to warmer areas for the winter. Crows in huge numbers, sometimes filling old maple trees like black leaves, gather before going over the pass. Smaller birds seem to just head for the pass. Hawks go singly, or so it seems. It’s a wonderful circus. You can climb up to a lookout spot not far from the pass and watch these birds coming in ones and twos and threes and twenties. Thousands of them will go through that pass over the next several weeks.
Once through the pass they fly on about half a mile and then suddenly hook left or south. Is there a sign post out there? Do their pineal glands respond to some deep magnetic field? What do they know that we don’t know? It makes me feel connected, not disconnected. As a species we simply aren’t that smart.
I’d like to be a bird—I think; but here I am and no wishing is going to change it.
Movie Review --- The Bourne Ultimatum
Well, well, well, three holes in the ground. Matt Damon is always good, but this isn’t a film. This is a high testosterone car chase without stop with gratuitous violence slathered on to break up the tire squeals and clanging metal crunches. Whoop-dee-do!
Damon is better than this. But maybe this is all we want.