Tuesday, December 20, 2011

post script

A few notes on recent topics:

   1.  In last week's mixtape, I posted the video-recipe for mulled cranberry cider.  
        p.s.  We made the cider to share with friends after caroling with our neighborhood Saturday night.  It was a HUGE hit.  Unfortunately, I was too busy sipping it and scooping it out for people to take pictures.  Also, my girls would want you to know that they teamed up to make it themselves.  Trust me.  Make some during your feasting in the next few weeks.  (and do let us know what you think!)

2.  Remember the gorgeous starling murmuration video I posted?  Which led to a medley of musings about really seeing the air around us?  Also, remember how much we love Annie Dillard 'round here?  

     p.s. Not sure how I forgot this excerpt from Pilgrim At Tinker Creek:
"Today a gibbous moon marked the eastern sky like a smudge of chalk. The shadows of its features had the same blue tone and light value as the sky iteself, so it looked transparent in its depths, or softly frayed, like the heel of a sock. Not too long ago, according to Edwin Way Teale, the people of Europe elieved that geese and swans wintered there, on the moon's pale seas. Not it is sunset. The mountains warm in tone as the day chillds, and a hot blush deepenes over the land. 'Observe,' said da Vinci, 'observe in the streets at twilight, when the day is cloudy, the loveliness and tendereness spread on the faces of men and women.' I have seen those faces, when the day is cloudy, and I have seen at sunset on a clear winter day houses, ordinary houses, whose bricks were coals and windows flame.

At dusk every evening and extended flock of starlings appears out of the northern sky and winds toward the setting sun. It is the winter day's major event. Late yesterday, I climbed across the creek, through the steers' pasture, beyond the grassy island where I had seen the giant water bug sip a frog, and up a high hill. ... 

Out of the dimming sky a speck appeared, then another, and another. It was the starlings going to roost. They gathered deep in the distance, flock sifting into flock, and strayed towards me, transparent and whirling, like smoke. They seemed to unravel as they flew, lengthening in curves, like a loosened skein. I didn't move; they flew directly over my head for half an hour. The flight extended like a fluttering banner, and unfurled oriflamme, in either direction as far as I could see. Each individual bird bobbed and knitted up and down in the flight at apparent random, for no known reason except that that's how starlings fly, yet all remained perfectly spaced. The flocks each tapered at either end from a rounded middle, like an  eye. Over my head I heard a sound of beaten air, like a million shook rugs, a muffled whuff. Into the woods they sifted without shifting a twig, right through the crowns of trees, intricate and rushing, like a wind."

Here's the video, you should definitely read the Dillard's delicious words before -- and, possibly, after -- watching this video.  

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.
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