Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mourning Dove Ballet

The mourning doves are bumbling along beneath the feeders, as usual, coo-cooing as their heads move forward and back with each step. One chases another and is chased in return. They take off in a flurry, as if some signal had been given, scolding as they leave. There is nothing graceful about these common birds, I think, as I stare at the now empty ground, each clumsy bird much like the others. Then from beyond the roof of the house, three doves fly back, wings delicately fluttering as they land in unison on the slim metal branch that holds one of the feeders. How beautiful a display it is - a mourning dove ballet, choreographed and executed with precision. I am immediately sorry about my assessment and reminded visually that it doesn’t pay to make assumptions – they often turn out wrong.

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