William Bartram, Crying Birds, and Tarzan: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail 37

Here is the Crying Bird, and two species of Spanish Curlews, from our faithful observer and documenter William Bartram…

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Florida Limpkin 368 by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Florida Limpkin 368 by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

Ephouskyca and Tarzan!

The Florida Limpkin no longer flies in great groups about the San Juan River in Florida. Its primary food source has diminished, apple snails. So William Bartram’s Crying Bird struggles to survive. A rather lack-luster bird, the most extraordinary thing about it, it’s cry. So thus the Native Americans named it Ephouskyca, or Crying Bird, for its distinctive cry. According to my guide on the San Juan River, Captain Gary of Blue Heron River Tours, that cry made it into Tarzan, as a sound of wild Africa, but the Limpkin’s voice is actually a sound of wild Florida.

Crying Bird Possible Perception 6061 by Beth Thompson

Crying Bird Possible Perception 6061 by Beth Thompson. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

Spanish Curlews in Maple 222 by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Spanish Curlews in Maple 222 by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

Juveniles and Adults

The two species of Spanish Curlews are actually one species, juveniles and adults, of the White Ibis. The juveniles are brown, as they grow older more and more feathers turn white.

Juvenile Ibis 102 by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Juvenile Ibis 102 by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

These, still abundant in great numbers, I saw roosting in trees all along the San Juan, and flying about in great flocks as far north as the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

Spanish Curlews Possible Perception 6062 by Beth Thompson

Spanish Curlews Possible Perception 6062 by Beth Thompson. Click on the image for a larger view  or to order prints.

Pensive, Melancholy, Wood Pelican…

Bartram’s description of the Wood Pelican, or Wood Stork as it is now called, is dead on. A very solitary and melancholy bird, we saw only one on my week of journeys down the San Juan. An endangered species, in some protected areas making a come-back of sorts however.

Wood Stork 199 by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Wood Stork 199 by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

The Pleasures of Solitude

I can relate to a point to the Wood Stork, in that I like to be solitary. But for me, being solitary is about connecting to inspiration, connecting to Source Energy, and myself. My times of solitude center and balance me, so that I can move with grace when I connect to the greater world about me. Not that I don’t think deep thoughts when alone, sometimes I do, other times I think happy ones.

Sparklers by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Sparklers by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

My Favorite Thing!*

Lately I have been practicing thinking like a dog—My Favorite Thing! Getting to write this blog post—My Favorite Thing! I got pumped up after an inspiring call last night, and took pictures of myself with sparklers—My Favorite Thing!  While I was completely alone (except for Luna, my dog—My Favorite Thing!) these pictures are more about connection and joy and play and awe—My Favorite Thing!, than the Wood Pelican’s melancholy pensiveness—My Favorite Thing! Enjoy! My Favorite Thing!

Self Portrait with Sparklers by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Self Portrait with Sparklers by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series. Click on the image for a larger view or to order prints.

 * Opening Stanza of reading from “The Slacks” by  Trip Shakespeare.
 Limpkin and Wood Stork Calls from The Florida Museum of Natural History.
 White Ibis Calls from Xeno-Canto.
Idea to think like a dog from The Awe-Manac by Jill Bodinsky.

 

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