Identifying the Cham Cham Cham bird

Nearing the highest part of the Bois D'arc Trail the song was becoming the mantra of the world, or at least of the High Meadow area of Oak Point Nature Preserve.  The "cham cham cham" seemed to come at me from every direction and from overhead.  It might have been coming up out of the trail into my feet, too.  In the trees the Cham Cham birds were camouflaged, but loud.  They were bouncing their chant back and forth like a sweet gong in a chamber of mirrors, or Paul Horn's flute inside the Taj Mahal.

Finally an epicenter--a smallish bird sitting up like a miniature meadowlark on a barbed wire fence.  Meadowlarks are bigger, and sit on fence posts.  I can't pull their song from my tone deaf memory, but this is definitely not it.

Pulling out of the Cham Cham bird's gravitation, I walk up toward Old Morton Vale Road. The birds are in the trees and brambles, and on the wires overhead. Their joy is too great to be interrupted by my intrusion. They sit tall and chant, and they are yellow in the late afternoon sun!

My camera is not really bird-on-a-wire quality. My fifty-six year-old wrinkled neck is sunburning as I stare up, just as it used to burn flying kites on the beach, and just as full of joy in the moment.

I must know. Maybe I will never know. Maybe I should sit down in the tall grass and just listen to this unknown bird. Maybe it is magic. Maybe it is all connected:

  • Vinyl, cassette, cd versions of Paul Horn Inside the Taj Mahal owned over three plus decades.
  • Can't count the copies of John Janovy's Keith County Journal I've given away or worn out. I'm honored to experience the dickcissel's magnetism after all this time.
  • The giant dandelion in the low meadow is the road map. 
Janovy's chapter about dickcissels is entitled, "Love, Joy, Money, and Pride".  What motivates us to write these blogs, walk these trails, trace connections, and be open to new songs?  I take pride in posting a fine-tuned product, but I blog out of love and joy, to record and savor the strange, cockeyed, interwoven wonder of life.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kim said...

Singing cham cham cham all the live long day! Thanks for this great post.


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