The Starling Ballet

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Nature is the most fundamental and bare form of art. It doesn’t need paint or canvas, pencil or paper- it simply is.  Photographer Alaine Delorme was able to capture a fleeting beauty of nature in his stunning Starling photographs. Each year in Europe around February or March, the Starlings come together is breathtaking displays, blanketing the sky in clouds of flapping wings and motion. These flock called murmurations are a ballet of constant motion as the flock dives and dips in perfect synchronization.  The flocks can range anywhere from 100 to thousands of birds.

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The dancing starlings are, beyond a doubt, the performers of the skies. Often times it’s easy to forget that even animals can be incredible artists. Their mesmerizing displays have inspired countless of poems, such as Mary Oliver’s “Starlings in Winter”:

“They are acrobats in the freezing wind. And now, in the theater of air, they swing over buildings, dipping and rising; they float like one stippled star that opens, becomes for a moment fragmented, then closes again…”

Here is a beautiful video of the starlings’ murmurations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eakKfY5aHmY

Mary Oliver describes the starlings as acrobats, pulsing through the atmosphere like stars- and they truly are.  But what amazes me most about the starlings is their ability to move as one; thousands of birds coming together in a startling entity of life and sound.  I think it’s important to appreciate these wonders of nature, as fleeting as they are. Ultimately, they remind us to recognize beauty in the simplest of things.

Here is the link to Mary Oliver’s entire poem: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2009/12/08

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