Friday, June 15, 2007

The hermit has landed

Running up Barr Trail yesterday evening, I heard one of my favorite high mountain summer songs -- the lilting Auria of the hermit thrush. This little brown, spotted bird isn't much to look at, and (as name implies) isn't seen much anyway. It prefers deep forest cover, rarely venturing out into the light, except during migration.
I once held one of these little guys in my hand at a banding station at Chico Basin Ranch. It was so light and delicate, and it's heart was beating so fast. It was hard to believe this little guy could produce such a deep, slow, mournful descending song.

For me, its a song that conjures up walks alone through the deep woods in summer. And of course, a favorite Robert Frost poem.

Come In

As I came to the edge of the woods,
Thrush music -- hark!
Now if it was dusk outside,
Inside it was dark.

Too dark in the woods for a bird
By sleight of wing
To better its perch for the night,
Though it still could sing.

The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west
Still lived for one song more
In a thrush's breast.

Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went --
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament.

But no, I was out for stars;
I would not come in. I
meant not even if asked;
And I hadn't been.

1 comment:

zen said...

Yes a very haunting song. There's an echo quality to it that is so unique.