This species of red-winged blackbird frequently nest near river edges, are territorial, and have a feathered association with the Tree of Life’s primal feminine energy of Binah. However, this is not true for every blackbird. Which faction of Nature’s forces it aligns with, depends on the coloring of its plumage; for instance, a blackbird with yellow head and neck feathers is connected to the Archangel Auriel as the overseer of all nature spirits. This feathered totem for Cancer’s summer season represents Nature’s creative and dark maternal forces. It is said to be an auspicious omen if two of these birds flock together due to their tendency to vigorously defend their territory from other blackbirds. Yet, this tenacious nature to protect their turf does not fully reflect the lessons this bird has to teach. It can also call upon the gentle and loving energy of a bird in the hand when found nesting within a neighborhood. They portend an eye-opening encounter with Mother Nature that can lead to a profoundly new understanding to the mysteries of her cyclical energies.
“Blackbird Cry” took half a summer of failed attempts to capture this subject of mystic proportions. That seems to be the nature of things around the 05 neighborhood. If I have a set intention for a photograph, then patience is required for the magic moment to happen. A group of these birds moved into the neighborhood about a year after the trees were cleared from the levy and the banks of the Maumee returned to some of its natural roots. Each day as I pedaled across the levy, I watched them on their precarious perches of cattails, reeds, and wildflowers. Their patches of red calling for my eye’s attention when they would take off for an air patrol or to hang ten on a thermal over the river. I knew in those moments, this was a sign from the muses. So, I would pull over and then stalk back to my subject for a chance to get up close and personal with one of those scrappy guardians standing sentinel over the river’s gateway into the between worlds.
After several failed attempts, I felt like Wile E. Coyote hashing and plotting away--only to see my prey foiling my plans and soaring away, just out of my reach. August was around the corner, which meant that these harbingers of summer were about to make themselves scarce in my neighborhood. This frustrating experience with futility was wearing my patience thin to a point where I was beginning to flirt with the idea that getting this shot was not meant to be. I did not feel I had it in me to wait another cycle of the seasons to renew the effort for this hunt; however, I was not ready to give up on this photograph yet. It was evident that if I was going to get my shot, then it was time to adjust my artistic attitude to reflect the outcome I desired: failure was not an option. I had to keep trying until I snapped this bird in the crosshairs of my Nikon. It was a somewhat overcast and gloomy July afternoon with a hint of rain filling the muggy air as I returned home from another unfruitful ride.
I arrived home, but I could not stop thinking of those birds lined up along the levy mocking my feeble attempts to capture a focused image with one of them. I put my bike in the garage and walked back to the levy’s topside. Two blackbirds flew over the Maumee as I neared and disappeared into the horizon. I noticed a third bird perched on a cattail a little further up the walkway. I slowed and tried to make my approach less direct in the hope that the bird would remain inclined to stay put on its current perch. I stopped to check if I was within the lens’ range. Even at maximum zoom, the blackbird was a barely perceptible blip in the viewfinder. So, I crept little closer until I reached what I had estimated to being the mid-way point between the bird and myself. I raised the camera again to see how the shot lined up in the lens. If I could get a few yards closer, then I would be in the sweet spot. Naturally, it was at this point, the blackbird noticed my presence and high-tailed it to the great blue yonder, or so I thought. As I continued down the path in search of a new subject, I noticed that the bird I just had in my sight was now sitting atop a light pole and it was within range of my lens. This feisty little blackbird circled overhead several times allowing me to not just get this shot, but also several other images that have been transformed into designs on www.shopvida.com/collections/crimsonlily78. Mother Nature’s mysteries are revealed to those patient and present in their observations of her artwork.