Thursday 23.12.2021 blackbirds, swamp cypress,dipper and mouse

On leaving the home park this morning I pause to listen to the sweeping sounds from the hedgerow, and see a handful of blackbirds in the open branches, traffic was passing and I curse the roar and fade of the engines, but as i do I begin to hear the matrix, the call response from the birds, that unusual sweeping sound is an echo to the passing cars and it all at once becomes lovely.

blackbirds and passing cars

In the park the calls are quite different, there are isn’t the same activity in that cupola willow edging the pitch that held me earlier in the week; today the tallest of the Swamp Cypresses calls, I stop to hear the raucous activity over the water; herons and ducks, and standing here I notice the tree has her arms full of tiny birds.

swamp Cypress armful of birds

I head on to the Fleischmann place and stand over the river on the old stone bridge feeling the flow in my bones and belly as it passes beneath. I film awhile the water as it gushes away and through my lens I spot the bright white bib of the dipper down stream on a log’s elbow. She is still, wary of me and my looming presence on the bridge, but as I stand the tension melts and she hops nearer, curling, stretching, dipping; curling, stretching, dipping, blinking her semaphore rhythm at the gushing water, (once spotted this motion is arresting, so much so that young I can spot a dipper out of the very corner of his eye when looking in the opposite direction) Suddenly she flies towards me, a white flash turns to black, then swooping away low to the river under the lowslung arch of the bridge downstream.

dipper

I follow on, hoping to catch up with her, and at the metal bridge I see a another arresting movement. it’s Mty, singular without the dogs, he is animated, waving. He clears the wooden mis-matched steps in even bounds, and an elegance that defies their awkward spacing, eager to show me what he has got. In his hand a little trap and inside a mouse, he hopes, because the creature is so light and still he can’t detect a thing, and so he has taken its rodent presence on faith, and circumstantial evidence: the door of the trap has closed and so the mechanism has been activated by something. We go the river’s edge to see the release; at first nothing emerges, then with a flip the mouse falls out and runs into the wetlands, there by the willow where the hemlock grows, we watch it disappear and re-emerge until we lose it. This house-mouse Mty conjectures has been whisked from the clutches of the domestic arena, of cats, humans and dogs and into another more alien story… beamed out into another world, into the unknown, as from the Starship Enterprise on an intergalactic mission.

new mouse view

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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