Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Dreambird" - A Poem by Mark Zimmerman

The makings of a mind
are threads of thought

That weave a web -

coherent consciousness
to conjure and control

the fire of soul.

By day the bonds are stout,

the spirit pale;

sure spells confine the flame

within her cage

of reason, logic,

memory, and fact.

Until soft darkness comes
to cut the cords
That bind the bright beast tight.
See how she turns,
Unfolds and spreads her wings,
and grows, and glows!
She leaps to flight
and joins the shining flock:
dark dreams that dance the sky
and sing the songs
of creativity
and life and love.

Copyright 2001 - Mark Zimmerman

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Dreambird" X Search Engine = Weirdness + Fun!

So for a bit of fun and fancy I decided to do a search, vaguely germane to this blog, on the everyone's favorite search engine to see what came up. Comedians, and/or writers, will recognize this post for the "filler" material it is - until stuff worth publishing comes along... but I digress.

Here's several of the first unique results from "dreambird" in Google:

1) Someone with "Dreambird"' for a profile in "Stumbleupon". This may be related to the next entry.

2) The "MySpace" page of a young woman with the handle of "dreambird" (this pseudonym of her's appears several times after this. I won't list them all here. She's already gotten enough free
pub here.)

3) A "Google Book" entitled "Dreambirds". It's a childrens picture book about a young Pacific Northwest Coastal tribe boy's spirit quest. Very impressive! You can bet you'll be reading a quote from that book in a post here soon. You can read the whole thing
here (you might have to have a Gmail account, sorry).

4) "Dreambird designs" - a blog; about what I'm not exactly sure. It appears inscrutably artsy for my level of obtuseness.

5) A hand made "Dreambird" journal being sold on www.etsy.com - Interesting.

6) Not quite sure what this is about. But, I have to admit the two one liners are great!

7) "Dreambird camp" - in Gambia... cool! Link is broken... UNcool!

8) A 55 metre yacht "Your 'Dream Bird' in the oceans". And for a cool $8.5 million it can be. I'll take two please.
FYI: Everyone reading this is invited for one hell of a pleasure cruise... put it all on AIG's tab.

9) "Dream bird" productions. On IMDB no less. Sweet.

10) A hybrid Primrose named "Dreambird"... from India. Pretty, in a understated kind of way. Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And Then There Were Two - Dreambirders...

Looks like I haven't cornered the market on dreambirding afterall. Some searching, a few weeks back, paid off big time when I discovered a post by Delia Guzman about a bird dream she had. I rather like it, even wish I'd dreamed it myself. Delia has given me permission to reproduce that post - below. She will continue to enrich and entertain us with her bird dreams here in the future. I very much look forward to what is in store. Huzzah! FYI: Delia's blog is called "Beginning to Bird" and can be found here.

Well, I may not have gone birding lately, but the birds are still with me. Last night, I had a crazy dream in which birds were a big player:

I dreamed I was in Manhattan, and I was sitting in a little cafe. I looked up and saw, on the outer wall of the cafe, a big white cockatoo. I walked outside and somehow managed to get the cockatoo to perch on my arm. Once I did that, I suddenly realized that the bird belonged to Judy Garland, and I had to get it back to her!

Somehow I knew the general whereabouts of Judy Garland's apartment building, so I walked over there. On the way, I recruited someone to help me--a woman, someone I don't know. She was tall and blonde, though, so maybe it was just a weird version of Kat. Anyway, we went into the building and discovered we were in the lobby of a huge old-time theatre, complete with concession stands, girls in Moulin-Rouge-type outfits swinging on giant swings suspended from the ceiling, and huge staircases. We negotiated our way through this hubbub and went upstairs.

We wandered all over the place for the next few minutes of my dream, which seemed like hours in the dream. We were inside hallways, outside in parking lots, looking through hotel rooms--you name it. FINALLY, someone helped us: a huge Mafia-type guy who was getting a massage in a big room with a pool in it. He told us where to go, and we found Judy Garland!

Only when we found Judy, the bird turned into a bald eagle! Somehow it didn't claw the flesh off my arm, and I was able to hand her - the raptor. After just a little prodding, she sang the chorus of "Swannee" for us right there in her doorway, and then we were off. Then I woke up.

- Originally posted on Nov. 11, 2008: Copyright 2008 Delia Guzman -

Monday, March 9, 2009

You Always Remember Your First

I actually do remember the first time I dreamt about birds. It was probably in Fall 2002; no later than early 2003. The next morning, I remember thinking how psyched I felt to have gone birding in a dream. It is a 6+ year-old dream, so some of the latter details might prove to fuzzy, but I don't think so.

I was with a small group of birders, perhaps leading. We were birding our way along an overgrown tire-track road. Thickly settled bushes, interspersed with small trees, flanked either side. It was mostly cloudy, and well lit, at first.  This progressed to ominously lead grey skies during and the latter half of the dream

Scanning with binoculars, I picked up a medium-sized heron cruising in overhead from behind. It settled down out of view a few hundred feet to our right.  I start bushwhacking towards where the heron seemed to be. Quickly the vegetation opened a clearing of low bushes and grasses on the edge of a pond about a half-acre in size. 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius)
Image online here

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Image online here

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Image online here

Several herons were present in various places around the pond. Species included Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and Snowy Egret. The highlight was a Black-crowned Night-Heron perched high in tree branches across the pond. It was with this Night-Heron, in this very first dream, that I experienced the ability to zoom and focus, sans binoculars. 

The dream ended shortly after our attention was immediately turned to a large group of American White Pelican migrating, in their mesmerizingly laconic way, fairly low overhead.

Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) - adult
Image online here

Pelicans, soaring and swirling their way through migration.  They prefer to soar via rising warm thermals of air.  Because of their large size, the ponderous process evokes a comparison to ballet in its grace.  Image online here 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Caught Between Bukhara and Samarkand...

A Bactrian Camel in the Kyzyl Kum desert, Uzbekistan.  I'm sure you're booking flights right now. Image online here

There I was in the Kyzyl Kum Desert, in Uzbekistan, leading a well-behaved Bactrian Camel... anywhere. It was pure desolation, essentially featureless in every direction; a beige version of Mars. Some dream; just me, a camel, untolled rocks, some sand and a cloudless sky.   

What motivated me to make lemonade from this lemon tree of a situation was thinking of all the birds I would be adding to my lifelist. Unfortunately, since I have no familiarity with this region, my fantasies ran a bit afield: coursers, bustards, stone-chats, sandgrouse, rollers, stone-curlews and even Ostrich crossed my mind.  But, that's why they call them dreams.

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)
Image online here

Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) - male
Image online here

Early on a small flock of doves flew by.  Sadly, they were too distant for any hope of an ID.  Soon after a small oasis appeared on the horizon, and we made it there with dream-speed. There the bird life was excessively cosmopolitan.  A Shoebill waded along the opposite side of the spring-fed pond. A handsome male Purple Sunbird busily worked a date palm to our left.  Neither belonged in this part of the world, but the latter is at least found on this continent.  One bird I did get right was a Eurasian Roller atop another palm.

Eurasian Roller (Coracius garrulus)
Image online here

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis)
Image online here

Soon after departing the oasis, I spotted a few birds I was anticipating.  A handful of Black-bellied Sandgrouse crouched amidst rocks and grass tufts within yards of our path.  A very active Eurasian Stone-curlew picked at the ground some way further on.  A sparrow that initially reminded me of a Savannah, flushed from a rock outcrop and settled low in a small bush. In this part of the world, this would be a Rock Sparrow/Petronia.  Aptly named.

Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Image online here

Rock Petronia (Petronia petronia)
Image online here

I then happened upon a small caravan of men and their camels. They ask where I'm going, and I tell them the Caspian Sea. This amuses them, as they inform me I'm heading very much in the wrong direction. They offer to help accompany me to a place where I can catch a different road that will take me towards my destination. They continued to rib me saying that if I don't go with them I'll surly get lost and die in this wasteland. So, even here everybody does want to be a comedian.

Common/Ring-necked Pheseant (Phasianus colchicus) - male
Image online here

We rode our camels together for some time, until we eventually came upon a small village adjacent to a much larger oasis. As we rode through town, I saw women in black or white burqas, many unidentifiable fowl scurrying about, and a small market. In the market a live Common Pheasant was for sale. At the very end of the market someone had a cage with a Common Nightingale in it, melodically singing away. The dream ended as I was looking over at the larger oasis with much anticipation. Unfortunately, I awakened before I could check it out.

Common/Rufous Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Image online here


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