What is that noise?
I step outside in short sleeves and no socks to listen to the cacophony.
What are they?
Thousands of them. In the trees. In the driveway. In the street.
Oh my, it’s cold in bare feet.
Back inside, I watch from the window as they snack on hawthorn and sumac, and then off they go. They didn’t stay long. Maybe an hour.
Starlings. A European species that has spread throughout North America. The story is that they were brought here because someone thought all birds mentioned in Shakespearean literature should be here.
Now they are here.
Spring is in the Air. It is most definitely the time of the Air element. The woods have come alive with starlings, robins, phoebes, and blue jays.
Mostly I’ve been thinking of the pileated woodpecker. This large native is terribly shy, unlike the cartoon character that introduces many young people to woodpeckers. I hear it now laughing and drumming in the distance. Several dead trees around the farm exhibit the rectangular holes they make as they dig food out of the dead wood.
An elemental perspective of the world clearly places the pileated woodpecker in the element of Air. Song, communication, flight, feathers, even the sound of drumming. And, yes, most birds fall into the category of Air, except for the water birds. They live in Water and Air.
I remember early on in my stay in NE Ohio, hearing a slightly maniacal laughing, reminiscent of a hyena. This I learned was the pileated woodpecker.
Listening, I thought, oh, this is where Woody Woodpecker came from. Probably true, although the stories about his inception vary. Here is one of the more tame cartoons featuring Woody Woodpecker. Most of the old ones are fairly offensive with sexual innuendo, violence, and stupidity.
Woody tends toward being a bit of an airhead, easily distracted, and at times, quite insane, all signs of excessive Air tendencies.
“That’s all folks.”
Learn more about the elements here.