love comes on a wingand tonight I will be by your side
but tomorrow I will fly"
Sunday the energy at Finley Wildlife Refuge was palpable, breathing, building. Geese of many types were all over the pond with a few flying in and out. Their cries were in the air as always; then something happened.
The energy shifted. You could feel it happen. The geese all lifted off at the same time leaving only a few behind. The sounds of their wings and cries filled the air all around as I watched caught up in their experience.
Where the pond had been full of birds, in an instant it was emptied of all but a few; as they filled the sky in their bands. After lifting off, they flew different directions, crossing and crisscrossing above us and then heading to the north likely to settle down on another lake. It's not time just yet; but soon, very soon they will be going much farther.
I have seen them take off before and always love the sound, the energy, the beauty of it, but never so many as if from some secret signal that only they heard. What triggered their rising? There were no threats that we saw. Humans are blocked from access in this area to anywhere but parking lots and their vehicles
It was 54° F. out at Finley that afternoon. Did they feel the approach of spring? Are they excited at the prospect of heading north on their migration where they will raise new families? Does that require their energy building for days ahead of the migration?
I can't read their minds, but I know mine when I saw and heard them. It filled my soul. It made me want to follow them to the mountains and meadows where they will summer. I want to see the mountain's wildflowers, feel its breezes. I am so ready, as ready as it appeared they were on Sunday.
[Migratory Birds] is my movie/slide show with more photos from Sunday including others from 2009 (Lesser, Dusky, & Greater Canadian Geese, Whistling & Trumpeter Swans, and pelicans) using music by Nick Cave from the wonderful soundtrack Winged Migration.
For me, Winged Migration's soundtrack and film are very inspiring using music and nature's sounds. I own both, recommend them, but they are just a taste of what nature can do to restore a person.
I know I am a nature oriented person and not everybody is the same; but I am convinced that more time outside in nature, watching birds, touching (if not hugging) trees, breathing nature's wonders in, waiting for the surprises, not so much 'using' nature, not abusing it, but soaking it in, respecting it, would make a big difference in any human being's mental health.
Finding such healing places is especially important today with bitterness, anger, hate, and ugliness so many other places. We can't control all the negative stuff that comes down. 'Shit happens.' We can choose whether we wallow in it. It is in how we react to what happens where we have the choice.
Almost anywhere someone lives, places like Finley will be nearby, places that earlier generations put their hard work into making safe for migratory birds. That is as inspiring as the birds.
Photos were taken at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge January 31. Finley is a few miles south of Corvallis, Oregon, and a peaceful place to visit at any time. In another two months it will be open beyond the blinds to more trails and walking around the lake but right now, the birds have the right of way.