Monday, August 16, 2010

Mystery dance and Mystere



















Mid-August in Tennessee = heat, seed ticks, and dancing crows. There’s a peculiar little hopping dance that crows seem to do only in the last weeks of summer. I have no idea what prompts it. Marzluff and Angell have nothing to say on the matter. Google yielded no information, but in its mysterious and godlike way led me to this interesting passage from a really charming blog, Excuse My Solecism.

"Several months before Navidad, willing households will capture four to five wild crows and train them. The end result is a crow ballet that is both amusing and amazing. I remember first seeing The Dance when I was five; it was like something out of a cartoon. Each dance is different but they begin in the same way: the crows line up and peck the ground one, two, one two three times. They then walk around in a circle and alternate flapping in a sort of ornithological Mexican wave. Music is played and the crows dance the steps they have been taught. I had forgotten what it felt like to witness these birds. Every worry that plagues your mind is forgotten for those few minutes and you are free. The Dance is done up to the 23rd of December (El Salvador’s Christmas Eve) when the birds are set free. Some crows remain in the area for a few days after but eventually all fly away."

There's something a little troubling about capturing and training wild animals, but at least the birds are set free afterward. And who knows, maybe the crows enjoy it, gregarious creatures that they are. Their natural dancing certainly looks like fun. They gather in a loose circle and take turns hopping, wings held close to the body. Each crow will bounce 2 or 3 times and then pass it on, so to speak, to another bird. Not every bird in the circle hops. It's not clear to me how they decide whose turn it is, but I rarely see 2 hop at once. Perhaps I'm wrong that they only do this in the late summer/early fall, but I can't remember seeing it any other time of year. If any of you bird lovers out there can enlighten me on this, please do.

In honor of the crows and their dance that (I hope) promises cooler days to come, I'm giving away a small decant of Mystere, a great perfume by Rochas that has been discontinued. Mystere is the crow of perfumes--dark, a little harsh, and yet completely charming. Leave a comment or email me to be entered in the drawing, which is open through next Monday.


Photo by Sigurður Atlason from Wikimedia Commons. (No, these are not American crows, but they were too cute to resist.)

9 comments:

sol said...

strange! I love crows, and have never seen anything even remotely like a dance among them here. Would have been fascinating to see!

kjanicki said...

I would love to see crows dance. All I've seen is the birds getting drunk on Mountain Ash berries in late September. They get so silly i think the berries must be fermented or something.

Gina said...

I, too, love crows. I rarely see them here and am always happy when I do. I would love to try a "crow of a perfume". Please enter me and thank your lovely blog.

Olfacta said...

Finally we're seeing the crows again. West Nile got many of them a few years ago and for a while there were none. Now there are some. They are so smart.

No need to enter me in the draw -- I have some Mystere. A very astute comparison, a smart fragrance.

Monica Skye said...

I would like to try Mystere- dark and harsh is gooood for me. Most noire perfumes I find not at all dark...this one, i trust, delivers. <3

Tamara*J said...

Hello Maria, please enter me in the draw. I think this sounds interesting and I always trust your taste in perfumes since Oro. My husband is Quechan Indian and his family believes that your spirit comes back as a crow. They even talk to them, believing they are speaking to their dead long gone. It's eery yet beautiful,and makes you wonder if such magic in-between worlds exist and you want to hope it does.

VasqAl said...

Hello, just wanted to say thank you for linking to my blog post (and for the kind words). I find crows and ravens to be fascinating creatures and it's great to see people writing about them in an appreciative way. Take care :-)

BitterGrace said...

You're welcome! Love the blog, look forward to reading more of your writing.

BitterGrace said...

Calling Gina: You're the winner of the Mystere decant. Please click on my profile to email me with your address. Congrats!