Starlings, Gulls and Ducks

It doesn’t take much to amuse me. I can be mesmerized for hours by nature.

Case in point. The other day I was driving {I do that a lot} when a swarm of starlings played peek a boo with traffic. You know, the murmuration {that’s the official name of the swarm} would roost on one side of the road, spot a car, rush to the other side, roost and head back at the approach of another vehicle.

Now, I don’t know who plays the leader in this free-form flash, but the hundreds of others certainly follow him … on cue … in generally the same direction or at least a specific distance before changing course.

This fluid dance in the sky leads to such a spectacle. I’ve been know to pull over and just watch our feathered friends form a three-dimensional kaleidoscope. The only thing missing is color, since most of the time, the birds are a flat brown. The color is provided by the sky’s backdrop or, in the summer or fall, the foliage of the landscape.

Second case in point. This afternoon, I parked at water’s edge by the lake. It was cold, gray and extremely windy with bursts of snow. What caught my attention was a gull seemingly frozen in time and space hovering a few feet from the surface of the white-capping waves. It was just suspended in the wind, occasionally flapping a wing to keep steady.

As I watched this aerodynamic accomplishment, my eyes drifted to a bunch of ducks in the lake. They seemed to paddle out, bobbing up and down or ducking under {sorry} as the waves rolled shoreward. Then they would “catch” a wave just as it capped and ride the crest to shore. They would then fly back out 10 or 15 from shore to start the process all over again. Who knew ducks surfed?

I watched this for about an hour and a half {what a sad life I have}, which reminded me of the story a woman posted awhile ago saying she had watched her dog chase its tail for 10 minutes, then realized she had just spent 10 minutes watching her dog chase its tail.

Wonder what that says about me. An hour and a half?

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: With two eyes and one tongue, you should see twice as much as you say.


About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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4 Responses to Starlings, Gulls and Ducks

  1. randee says:

    An hour and a half watching birds is not a sad life. That’s a great life!

  2. TamrahJo says:

    I think it says you’ve discovered the secret of a fulfilling life – – 🙂

    I watched a documentary awhile back where a scientist programmed a computer program to have multiple ‘dots’ and each dot’s only function was to maintain a certain distance between itself and the other dots, and to mimic the other dots’ speed – – – when run, the ‘dots’ accurately portray a swooshing flock of birds, or a school of fish evading a predator – – for years, there have been so many theories on how birds and fish do these instantaneous dips, swerves and dives – – and here, with a precise formula, it is explained….

    Truth be told, I like to learn things, but this is one thing I wonder if I would not have been happier not knowing – to take the beauty of natural patterns and turn them into a cold, informal calculation seems to take all the fun out of life – – 🙂

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