Snake Bird: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail 42

Take a moment to listen to Bartram’s words, read by me, about the Anhinga, or Snake Bird of Florida:

*

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

Anhinga Speaks by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

The Evolutionary Precursor….

The Anhinga uses the healing power of the sun, spears what is needed, knowing patience.  An evolutionary precursor to the duck, the Anhinga has not developed oils to keep his feathers dry. So he climbs out of the water and spreads his wings, as Bartram describes, not to cool them, but to use the healing power of the sun to dry them in order that he may fly.

Silhouette of Anhinga by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Silhouette of Anhinga by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

A fishy taste…

Used to the sight of humans in a boat, the Anhinga I saw didn’t dive into the water at the sight of us. I guess we Americans have more tasty food than the fishy Anhinga, so we no longer hunt them, and they have lost their fear of us. I got amazingly close to many of them. This was great for my camera.

Anhinga and Cypress Trees by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Anhinga and Cypress Trees by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Where were the Anhinga in flight?

The one thing I didn’t see was flocks of Anhinga flying overhead at high noon. I would love to see an Anhinga in flight, but all the ones I saw were either swimming in the water, their necks looking very much like a snake, or drying their wings on a tree. The coloring of the Anhinga makes them blend into their environment. Try to spot the Anhinga in the picture below.

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

Camouflaged Anhinga by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Getting close….

I took the following close-up of an Anhinga, and created a Possible Perception of an Anhinga.

Anhinga Close-Up by Beth Thompson: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Anhinga Close-Up by Beth Thompson: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Forest circling Anhinga circling Forest…

The fractal quality of the Possible Perceptions makes them a mirror of the larger macrocosm in which they exist, and also mirrors the microscopic world at the same time. In Snake Bird Possible Perception you can see the forest reaching into the sky along the water’s edge, and sense the Spanish moss that grows over every tree, while also perceiving the Anhinga, circling the forest that circles it, all part of a bigger whole. At the same time the image evokes a microcosm of diatoms growing in the water that feeds the fish that feed the Anhinga.

Snake Bird Possible Perception 6070

Snake Bird Possible Perception 6070

 
*Opening stanza from “The Slacks” by Trip Shakespeare.

 

 
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