Birds at Work

Want to get your colour palette right? Follow the birds! They make art, too.

P1180114 Staghorn Sumac 

Think of it like a paintbrush.

And what do the birds make of it?


Jackson Pollock, move over. The kings are here.

Yes, it’s random. No, it’s not art, because it’s not human, but it is the same thing, only expressed through the actions of a different species.

If humans continue to search for intelligence in the universe, one lesson they will have to learn well is: it won’t be human. Another is: it won’t fit neatly into contemporary concepts of individual behaviour. Those are just fashion.

pommeSimilkameen Apple after a Heavy Snowfall, Bahati Farm, Keremeos

 Art, as the Universe lives it.

The Answer is Blowing in the Sun

Many seeds disperse by riding the wind. Spiders, too. Here’s one of my neighbours that has a different way of moving through the currents of the world. Welcome to yellow dock.

dockIt’s the root that’s yellow.

Dock loves wet areas within dry areas. To get there, it manufactures a kazillion seeds. When the chickadees come in January they nibble a few and the rest fall all over the place, onto the snow.

P1180613Chickadee Meal Mess

And there they are, the dark red seeds, catching the sun on their little sails and using its heat to burrow deep into springtime. Humans and chickadees know it as snow, but dock knows it as the moment when the snow melts and flows to low ground. In the end, the seeds are where they want to be, covered with silt and with all the water they need. In this way, dock is turned into chickadees. In this way chickadees are turned into dock.