It’s oh so quiet

Photo: Minette Layne

Photo: Minette Layne

Migration is in full swing as the birds leave Minnesota. I noticed it recently when the lake path was suddenly absence of chatter and noise. The red wing black birds have left. These guys seem are the most vocal or noticeable around the lake where they set up for the season and one of the most abundant bird species in the midwest. When they arrive and leave is noticed. Earlier this summer, my mother reported that they diving at her head. Territorial, they protect their nests when we walk too lose. I noticed several posts online that mention blackbirds assertive nature and now, the absence of their call.

This sudden ‘quieting’ reminds me of a Bjork song. I started humming it when I noticed it, as it became oh, so quiet. If you know the song, she sings ”it’s oh so quiet…shh…shh. it’s oh so still…shh…shh…You're all alone…shh shh….And so peaceful until….shh… shh…” Then, she hits you with horns “Bam!…your falling in love!” She whispers softly and then it’s loud brass; a big change.

Although the loud chatter of the blackbirds is gone, new migratory flocks of birds have arrived and replace the tunes. It feels immediate and sudden because summer is coming to an end, and these birds announce a change of season and winter is approaching. But, I am falling in love. There are new sounds and sightings, especially now that I am actively following the miraculous event of migration. I feel more in tune with these creatures, the change in seasons and the special place where I live.

So, onto fall. It is my favorite time of year and something else I love. It’s a return to routine and plants reach the peak- it’s a time of harvest. The mornings are crisp and my husband, who tells me its the best time of year (mainly because his birthday is in October) also reminds me about that great smell of leaves once they begin to gather on the ground. Sight, smell and sound. Fall is all about the senses.

Maybe the sensory delights are evident because it is going to get dark, really dark…and cold. I see the daylight hours creep away and night will take over during the winter for over half of the day.

I love the first and last snow fall. Like the Bjork song, winter is a hard jolt when it arrives But, you have to enjoy the change and admire how well nature and art work together to make a rich and beautiful season.

Here’s a live migration animation that shows the departure and high activity throughout the United States, from dusk till dawn:

http://birdcast.info/live-migration-maps/

The skies are full and so is my heart!

Emily Donovan