Flying home



I have just watched the first mass migration of the spring, perhaps a thousand cranes in just one of the skeins, flying in reasonably ordered formation, heading north east. Their trumpeting call is triumphant, sonorous, stay in line, don’t stray, keep in the slipstream if you’re tired.

Home calls, spring, the nest, and the mate for life to help raise the new chicks. No one is left behind, all take turns to fray a path through the winds. Only birds, but can we claim the same honour?

wild sky

cloud-streaked blue rain-rippled

ocean of feathers

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Flying home”

    1. It’s ironical really that when birds and animals show solidarity we mock and say they don’t know what they’re doing, it’s just instinct. When (very occasionally) we manage to do something magnanimous someone gets a medal.

  1. “No one is left behind” and “all take turns.” And aren’t these words to live by! You’re so right, the examples are in nature. Fidelity, community. Not to mention thriving and prosperity of the best kind. We should be so lucky as the “ocean of feathers.” Sadly, we could make the luck.

  2. Beautiful, lyrical. Love the skeins, love the ocean of feathers too. Yes, sadly we’re often divided, but then when we come together sometimes we manifest as a mob,a gang of trolls or bullies. Protective collectivism would be a marvelous thing.

    1. The cranes I saw today, and there were hundreds and hundreds of them, were flying in reasonable formation, but often their formation breaks up like in the photo and they mill about, circling or just dispersing. It’s the air currents, I think, or they just have an anarchic streak 🙂

      1. It sounds so cool. Perhaps it’s both air currents and anarchy. 😉
        When we were driving somewhere the other day, I was watching some geese (I think) from the window, and smaller groups would break off from the formation, and then they would form new configurations. It was beautiful to watch, but now I’m going to think of them as having anarchic streak.

      2. These seemed quite purposeful, the smaller skeins (100/200 birds) were nice straight V formations but the massive ones were wild. One was strung out right across the sky in a great long raggedy line.

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