Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 17: Street-lit, Sun-lit

South Orange (downtown) and South Mountain Reservation, New Jersey, 6:20am-8:30am
cool, windy, mixed clouds

Streetlamps are not the ideal lighting by which to identify a bird.
Today's bird stopped me well before dawn (and my mountain destination), his songs resonating off parking lot asphalt.

Squinting through the street lamp's dull orangey-pink cast, I couldn't make out details about the bird, even when he perched conveniently on a short fence post for me. Little and plump doesn't narrow it down much!

Great variety of calls, though he seemed more consistent than the mockingbird. Here are two more samples:

Today I'm in New Jersey, visiting my best friend from college, Jody. She's given me running directions to South Mountain Reservation, a 2000 acre nature preserve about 2 miles from her house.

It's all up-hill, and I'm a little bummed to be running westward - can't see the sky lightening. But it's fun to watch the trees in front of me gradually get brighter, and I also get a kick out pretending to be Orpheus ("don't turn around, whatever you do, until you reach the destination!") (I cheated twice)

The lookout point is beautiful, and several deer, including a young buck with antlers!, pass through my vista. There are many birds competing for bird of the day, and I am drawn further up the road to record them.

A lone car drives up and I hurry back to claim my sunrise viewing spot, pointed at a break in the trees. My hoarding instinct turns out to be unnecessary with this dog-walker, as it is with the 3-4 joggers that pass by shortly after. Nobody else seems compelled to stop and watch this daily miracle.

It's a watercolor dawn -- some meteorological phenomenon of thin clouds creates vast washes of peach and pink across the sky. A layer of cottony, hand-pulled clouds extends the vista way over my head, extending westward into tufts of white. This project has me in a perpetual neck crane/ back bend!

The sun creeps up, red-gold, behind two distant silhouetted Manhattan buildings. It is a striking image. On my tiptoes, peering over nearby trees, I can make out other bits of Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River, some bridges.

When I turn around, westward, the reddish glow of first rays of the day are warming the upper trunks and branches of the road-side trees. I love early morning light, and am struck by how different the trees appear in this glowing, warm orange. Reminds me of what Mequitta was saying about dreams and the turning of a perspective to create a sort of alternate, parallel world. I imagine a piece that switches between instrumental and vocal choruses to create this effect.

Got lost / de-toured going back, and stumbled upon this residential hang:


At October 17, 2010 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet sounds to start the day with, Shaw Pong!

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