Friday, November 25, 2011

The Migration

Fall migration of our water fowl is an amazing event to witness.   Every year families of ducks, geese, and swans swing down the Mississippi River, headed for places where the water doesn't freeze.  Some of them will fly down into South America but most will go just far enough to avoid the ice of winter.  This year has been warm later than usual and they are still with us.  It takes a combination of factors to make these birds continue on their journey.  Yes, the length of the days plays a part in this seasonal adventure, but the weather plays an important role as well.  These birds can feel the wind, the humidity and the pressure changes.  They will wait until the big storms come blowing in and then use the wind of these storms to help carry them on their journey.  This way they don't use as much of their own energy but share the burden of travel with The Earth, Herself.  Then, in one mighty rush, the whole pond will lift off, winging their way into formations, being propelled by storm winds on their way.

Knowing this give us earth centered humans an advantage.  If we see huge flocks of water fowl taking to flight, flying away, not just in exercise circles around the water, we can surmise that these birds are feeling an approaching weather change.  It's time to batten down the hatches ourselves.

Meanwhile we can enjoy these short time visitors, marvel at their beauty and grace, and wonder at the flights that they have done for thousands of generations.  The hunters among us, be they human, or coyote, or eagle can gather up some much needed food for the winter.  And we can wait like all of Nature waits, for Old Man Winter to arrive in force, carrying our winged friends out of our waters but not out of our hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures! Great post, and I had never really thought about when and why the birds choose that one moment to get up and leave. I love watching the birds around where we live. Even though we can't see them from our house, we can hear them outside, especially at night when things are quiet around us.