Swifts at the Chapman School

Swifts at the Chapman School
In the beginning of fall, ten-thousand Vox Swifts roost nightly in a single chimney in Northwest Portland.  Watching them reminded me of a few lines from Emily Dickinson.

"These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June,--
A blue and gold mistake."

 Strange the way the early days of autumn resemble the first of spring.  September exits just as June entered. Two points on the same circle, equal distance but different directions.

The birds land like smoke in rewind.  The season has felt like that too - backwards but familiar - as we round the bend to winter.  Everything must leave the way it came.

(photo) kodak portra film with pentax k1000. The dutch tilt is uninentional, I was using a tripod on uneven ground.  (watch) You can see the swifts in motion here.


  1. Just watched this this morning... you seen it yet? Kind of reminded me of this post you wrote: http://vimeo.com/31158841

  2. Kate - thank you so much for sending that video my way. It was incredible! I think it's so poetic that a flock of starlings is called a "murmuration" - I can only imagine the sound of their wings off the water.


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