Fun in the world

The scene at Chapman school

Work is necessary, work is good. But gritting your teeth and working, head down, is not always good for your work. You can carve a rut in your brain. You can stumble in and get stuck there. Sometimes it pays to look UP.

This time of year, we like to watch the Vaux’s swifts migrate through Portland. One place they stop is the chimney of the Chapman elementary school in NW Portland. 10 or 15,000 or more birds swirl down into this chimney. Living smoke, in reverse. (Good info at the local Audubon Society site, HERE. ) A LOT of people go to see this event, these days. All types; from bookish bird watchers making notes in notebooks, to arty types with elegant picnics and tiny dogs tucked under their arms, to young parents with lumbering, panting, old dogs and burbling babies, and/or young children who break away and spend the hour before sunset shrieking with glee, sliding down the hill on scraps of cardboard… NOT your average bird-watching expedition. But a great spectacle, in the air and on the ground.

Swifts circling over chimney. There was a falcon up there, too, cruising for a quick bite. The crowd screamed and cheered (for both sides) every time he/she swooped through the cloud of swifts.

The birds paid no heed to the noise from below.

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