Monday, March 9, 2009

You Always Remember Your First

I actually do remember the first time I dreamt about birds. It was probably in Fall 2002; no later than early 2003. The next morning, I remember thinking how psyched I felt to have gone birding in a dream. It is a 6+ year-old dream, so some of the latter details might prove to fuzzy, but I don't think so.

I was with a small group of birders, perhaps leading. We were birding our way along an overgrown tire-track road. Thickly settled bushes, interspersed with small trees, flanked either side. It was mostly cloudy, and well lit, at first.  This progressed to ominously lead grey skies during and the latter half of the dream

Scanning with binoculars, I picked up a medium-sized heron cruising in overhead from behind. It settled down out of view a few hundred feet to our right.  I start bushwhacking towards where the heron seemed to be. Quickly the vegetation opened a clearing of low bushes and grasses on the edge of a pond about a half-acre in size. 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius)
Image online here

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Image online here

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Image online here

Several herons were present in various places around the pond. Species included Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and Snowy Egret. The highlight was a Black-crowned Night-Heron perched high in tree branches across the pond. It was with this Night-Heron, in this very first dream, that I experienced the ability to zoom and focus, sans binoculars. 

The dream ended shortly after our attention was immediately turned to a large group of American White Pelican migrating, in their mesmerizingly laconic way, fairly low overhead.

Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) - adult
Image online here

Pelicans, soaring and swirling their way through migration.  They prefer to soar via rising warm thermals of air.  Because of their large size, the ponderous process evokes a comparison to ballet in its grace.  Image online here 

1 comment:

Mikael Behrens said...

Hi Jeff, it's been too long since our paths have crossed out in the field!

What an interesting blog you're writing. I like your accounts of "the ability to zoom and focus, sans binoculars". I wonder if over the years of birding, binoculars have become such an ingrained and familiar tool, that your right-brain does not really consider them anymore. When you're out birding in the real world, you can zoom to 8 or 10 power pretty easily. So in your dreams your right brain continues to use this ability, but it leaves out the cumbersome mechanical details. What do you think?

I hope you have not discussed this idea before, I haven't read through all your posts yet!


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