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SILHOUETTE OF AN OCTOBER EVENING
 

We all see things in different ways.  Our thoughts come from different planets, so to speak.  Like men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  Consider though, when the complexity of nature is simplified by the absence of light in the foreground.  A silhouette can unite the thoughts and spirits of man.

When we seek to simplify can we not also unify?  As the sun pulls the blankets of darkness over it’s head can we not all see beauty in sleepy tones that creep from the woodwork.  Outlines of God’s creation bring upon us an appreciation of the simple cycle of the sun.

Big Blue Stem sweeps the sky of jet fumes in more than poetic terms.  Vegetation drinks the cool of the night and prepares for the sleep of the season.

Twilight gathers around Horicon Marsh in a mystifying way in October.  Geese gather on shiny water with a song to passersby.  Men hide from the geese in shadows with a song of their own.  Noble creatures meet noble traditions in hunting but when the sun slumbers the sport ceases.  Truce for another morning.

Silhouettes and echoes from the past combine to bring our memories and spirits to an understanding that the hunt continues unbroken from ice age to the future.  With shadows encroaching upon the ruins of the post ice age civilization we can feel the tradition stir.  We can visualize the life and death struggles without the aid of the intruding sun.  Soon we imagine campfires being roused, drums waking, children yawning, and we yearn for the conversation of the day’s exploits. 

Casting his own shadow upon a wing makes this Sandhill Crane a circle unto himself.  Our spirits soar with him and through him.  The crane does not need us but we need him.  Horicon Marsh needs to hear the wing beats of this large graceful flyer forever.

Canada named her spirits well.  Carrying a patch of daylight on it’s cheek, swimming into dusk, this staging character in the play of autumn.  Rest for weary wings comes to this actor in cattails that cast long shadows and dark reflections.

Incognito with the shroud of dusk the redwing blackbird awaits the combining of forms for “sleep, perchance to dream.”  What do blackbirds dream?  Do they dream of soaring over endless marshes with unlimited perches?  Do they remember unbroken vistas of prairie and forest?  Are these dreams spurred by a spirit that floats across the Horicon Marsh?

Constellations in black move and change the orientation of the night sky with every wing beat.  Time spins through the sky with these arrangements.  One evening over Horicon Marsh, the next morning in southern Illinois, with 500 miles of time under their wing.

We feel colors, not see them.  We feel cold, not hear it.  And black feels like cold coming from the north.  Dusk reminds us of how we feel and where we are going.

Not quite asleep, not flying, trying to become a full fledged shadow and waiting for the sign and time to fly, Shovelers make the marsh a bed for now.

Goodnight from October in Horicon Marsh, see you in the winter

Story provided by Weldon Kunzeman.