Friday 25 January 2019

A pair of nightingales

In the dark before dawn it was a pure delight to hear - not just the 'usual' one, but a pair of nightingales - calling across left to right, from tree to tree.

I don't recall ever hearing any such until the past decade; then I heard and saw one nightingale half a mile from my house, in one direction - and then another a similar distance in the other direction. And in the past few years there has been a nightingale singing from within about fifty yards of my backdoor.

It's a lovely song - not better, but more abstractly beautiful, than the virtuoso, fruity-toned, melodious blackbirds.

To cap it - Venus blazing in the south-east almost next-door to a very bright Jupiter - an egg-shaped gibbous moon in the south-west.

The prevalent emotion - other than sehnsucht - was gratitude. Quite explicit - because I now regard such moments as meaning-full, no 'accident'.


Francis Berger said...

First off, I wanted to apologize for inadvertently reversing the word order of Romantic Christianity to Christian Romanticism in your Ve Ask the Question post.

Regarding this fine post, I would like to share a wonderful experience I had at the beginning of the week when I watched the Super Moon/Wolf Moon/Blood Moon lunar eclipse. It was about four in the morning and I was out in the backyard exercising (don't ask). There was a full moon behind me, and after about twenty minutes I noticed the yard was getting darker. Assuming a cloud had covered the moon, I turned around and was stunned to see an eclipse in progress. I watched the whole thing unfold in amazement.

What made the eclipse truly sublime was my absolute lack of foreknowledge about the event - it had literally caught me by surprise. This surprise factor not only made the eclipse more meaning-full, to borrow your word, but also increased my gratitude for being granted the opportunity to witness it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Francis - I had almost the opposite experience about the lunar eclipse. I had read about it and then forgotten - but I go out to look at the sky most mornings (and evenings) - and it was pretty early.

I vaguely assumed that the moon would have set, so I was looking to the east to seek venus, moved south - then saw a crescent moon low in the (north) west; before doing a double-take as I realised that you cannot have a crescent moon in the west in the mornings, after which I shortly realised that it had a fuzzy shadow across it, and it was actually an eclipse!

Michael D. said...

This excerpt might be to your liking:

Matthew T said...

In the middle of winter, eh? Doubtless our "winters" are very different.

I don't know that I've ever heard a nightingale, but nearly the dearest thing to my heart is a black-capped chickadee in summer:

Bruce Charlton said...

@Matthew - Winter? Here in Merlin's Precinct we don't have seasons, only weather.