Monday, September 12, 2011

"...the sun itself disguised"

"The sky to the east was black with bird, the sun itself disguised. Thousands of passenger pigeons beat southward, a flying carpet of them. Catto held his breath. A hundred thousand. might be. They were free. Marveling up at them he felt pure, the innocence of dawn. He watched in welcome every spring, in godspeed every fall. The birds flew in a vast, oval mass, no pairs, no skeins, no wedges, only the great mass of them, and the steady, fading rush across the face of the sun. A dark mass, the blushing breasts obscured, they dimmed the golden morning."

From When the War is Over* by Stephen Becker

A Pair of Passenger Pigeons (''Ectopistes migratorius''),  John James Audubon (1785-1851)

  "Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon"

*I'm in the middle of reading this beautiful novel -- one of those wonderful books that seems to have been unjustly forgotten. More about Becker here.

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