Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watchers at the Pond (4).

Franklin Russell. New York: Time Incorporated. 1961.

Why read it? Describes the changes in the pond during the cycle of the seasons.

Sample quotes and ideas:

“The lightning burned through the air and created a huge vacuum, into which the vapor-packed air hurtled…created an explosion that rocked the earth, and the concussion fled along the line of the lightning strike and ended with a crackle far beyond the marsh.” p. 179.

“Some unknown constellation of events in the upper air had started turbulence whirling in a gigantic circle, and, and unaccountably this whirling suddenly tightened, pulling itself into a funnel of air that screamed so loudly it drowned the noise of thunder.” p. 180.

“Death was a process of reduction and bacteria were the prime reducers.” p. 193.

“The red-tailed hawk knew exactly where each surging column of air rose from the ground, and he moved from updraft to updraft, coasting steadily lower between each lift, then rising high again.” p. 199.

[What makes the sky blue?] “Each space of air the size of a robin’s egg contained more than a million of these particles, and they were filters that reduced the sun’s heat and cut out the reds, violets, and greens of light from space, allowing only the dominant color of blue to reach the pond.” p. 201.

“Later that day…male flying ants fell steadily from the sky, dying and dead…their lives…ended the moment they mated with the flying females….” p. 203.

“…more than ten thousand blue jays flooded past the pond: their massed flight…overwhelming, as though a single creature of unbelievable size had exploded into sight.” p. 209.

“The next day, another twenty thousand crows passed, and forty thousand the next day, and twenty thousand the next day, and then fifteen thousand and thirty thousand and fifty thousand, and black columns of birds stretched almost unbroken from horizon to horizon.” p. 210.

To be concluded.

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