Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring Here -- Blackbird Evensong

Oh, still my heart -- I just heard the year's first blackbird serenade! I opened the kitchen window a crack and listened to it while having my evening sandwich and cup of rooibos. I love the blackbird. It sings at the most unsettling time of the year.

These spring and early summer evenings, when the light never really fades and the blackbird sings its heart out... They fill me with a nameless urgency, a desperate itch for something I can't put words to. Watching myself dispassionately from outside, I can see that it's just the spring rut. But from the inside of my little mammal brain, oh man, it feels like I'll have to walk to Kamchatka to ever find peace again.

Turdus merula, "solitary thrush". In Swedish it's koltrast, "coal thrush". I hope to hear it on my deathbed one day.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Olle Sahlin said...

Hoppas du får höra fler koltrastar på din födelsedag också! :-)

04 April, 2006 10:13  
Blogger Martha said...

I'm fascinated by a place where it never entirely gets dark-- I've never lived so far north. And we have blackbirds here, but they're usually the red winged kind (they have brilliant red shoulders). And I associate them with sweltering summer days, rising up in a mass with their distinctive cries. The night bird I think of is a mockingbird, which sings loudly all night, never the same song, so it drives you mad when you're trying to sleep.

But I know what you mean, that sense of restless expectancy in the spring. I don't have it yet, but i will once the sun starts to shine.

04 April, 2006 17:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jag hörde koltrasten för två veckor sedan, en lördagskväll kl 20, hade tvättstugan. Föll i trans. Mitt hjärta brast, blev ledsen, glad, längtansfull men sorgsen. Måste var en urinstinkskänsla... Isapisa

04 April, 2006 20:32  
Blogger Martin said...

Olle: Thanks! I heard a fair bit of birdsong today while chasing tupperware in the woods, but I spent the evening in town where little can be heard over the drone of the cars.

Martha: Wow, a blackbird with brilliant red shoulders! I'd like to see that.

Isapisa: Blackbird song two weeks ago?! Wow!

04 April, 2006 23:04  
Blogger Martha said...

here you go:
http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/
StratfordLandingES/Ecology/mpages/
red-winged_blackbird.htm

unfortunately, if you want to use this address you'll have to string it back together. It was too long.

05 April, 2006 01:48  
Blogger Martin said...

Wow, that's a looker!

Genus Agelaius, family Icteridae. The guy singing in the evenings here is genus Turdus, family Turdidae. No close relation, then. I guess the colonists saw a black bird and called it blackbird.

05 April, 2006 07:55  

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