There are moments when it’s hard not to mourn the quick passing of the summer even though we are still in it. Cold rainy days that feel like they were borrowed from another month. A month like October.
And seeing that the Purple Martins have ‘left the building‘. Their summer nesting boxes empty – devoid of those beautiful summer sounds the swallows bring – the babies fully grown, independent. Eventually, hopefully, they will make it all the way to their winter home in Brazil, some of them banded and/or outfitted with tiny GPS trackers. Little winter ‘backpacks’ to tell stories of where they go. When they return in the spring the birds will be carefully caught and the tiny GPS devices removed. The number of Purple Martins is significantly dropping and it’s not really known why so, this data is hopefully a step in finding out what might be causing the decline in their population, and a step too, in finding ways to protect them. You can read more about the fascinating Purple Martin Project here and here on the Nature Canada website.
[The first image is a layered photograph ~ purple martins, a rainy window and a summer landscape made with movement.]
© Karen McRae, 2014
49 thoughts on “Purple Martin Stories”
Thank you, Hollis.
What a beautiful but sad photo… And then, I read that there is yet another species under threat. Oh, dear.
Yes, so many species under threat. Including ourselves, in some ways…
Thanks for your comment!
Your photos make me fly. Thanks for shedding light.
Two more beauties from you, Karen. I love the moody murkiness of the first and the simplicity of the second.
Amazing image ! ! !
Again, very amazing!
Sehr schön! !
Those layerings of yours always feel very natural; it’s the poetry that makes me linger (and that’s a compliment as well 🙂 )
Yes, yes. The quick turn of the seasons so far north. I’ve been reflecting on the same thing. Both your prose and artwork capture it beautifully.
You created a beautiful and evocative photo, very imaginative work indeed.
Oh, that first image is wonderful, Karen! It really does evoke the end of summer feeling…
You might find this link interesting… http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/iln/research/birds/index.php It shows returns on weather radar caused by what are presumed to be thousands of Purple Martins leaving their roosts at sunrise. I have been watching these on the Cleveland Ohio weather radar for the last couple of weeks when I think to look.
Thanks for that great link, Mic, it definitely is of interest, and very cool!
…I thought it was pretty cool too! 🙂
So close to my heart!
The weather here in Germany is the same. It is too cold and too wet for the season, it looks like summer is over.
Karen, you do the purple martins and nature herself proud with your exquisite images. Just beautiful.
Beautiful photos as usual Karen, and so interesting about the purple martins. There seems to be a decline in many bird species, this year in my part of the UK I have seen fewer swallows and hardly any sparrows , I hope they come back!
These really are gorgeous – that first shot is so warm, generous and stimulating – it reminds me of the most absorbing illustrations from my childhood. The ones I got lost in.
It’s possible they may be ecstatic that you may be chronicling their last portraits, Karen…
That first picture is just so wonderful, Karen. It tells it all. Summer (almost) gone, rainy mood, ready to go. Best of luck to the birds.
absolutely stunning as always.
There is definitely a whole different feeling at the end of August… OK, now: this is the 2nd time I’m asking. How do we purchase one of your pictures?
Hi Jennifer, is there a particular image (or images) that interest(s) you? I could add them to my website and make them available to order online. Thanks very much for your interest!
The beauty of that first image sums up the story of the purple martins, gently fading and flying away. Poignantly beautiful.
Loved this post, Karen! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Another sad story about beautiful small animals declining. Here there is a huge concern about bees due to an invasive asian species of wasp causing a big problem because they eat the bees.
Purple Martins long, long ago in that first image. Purple Martin today carrying all of this history. Or so it strikes me. Very beautiful.
Beautiful photos. I see a reflection in the window in the first one.
: ) your image captures the feeling of the end of summer so beautifully. you make such lovely art!
Thanks very much, Kif, for all your lovely comments. I’m happy you enjoy my art!
Sublime, Karen! I think I’m becoming more attuned to nature thanks to your photography.
I nominated you for the “one lovely blog award”. you don’t have to accept, but if you’d like to here’s the link http://emmieverlasting.com/2014/08/22/one-lovely-blog-award/
Thanks very much, Jeanette, that’s kind of you. I don’t really have time to follow up with these blog awards but I’m sure glad you think my blog is lovely! : )
That’s understandable! Your blog is great! Have a nice weekend 🙂
Just lovely! Images and words! 🙂
Another beautiful composite. I love the rainy, somber mood. But, I know I would not want to fly to Brazil wearing a backpack. 🙂
These photos are stunning!
Moody and melancholic, that first image is perfect for the sense of autumnal partings, and also for the plight of the disappearing birds.
Beautiful work! But so sorry to hear about yet another mysteriously disappearing species…
So beautiful, Karen!<3
Your images are gorgeous.
Thank you very much, Chris. The birds are a favourite subject for me.
Ah, I can see I am sketching these too crisply. Thank you. Beautiful photo layering in this post.
Thank you, Lucy!
You’re entirely welcome.