Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Rhyme of the Nascent Mariner

I be a nascent Mariner,
On maiden voyage to the sea.
By lack of beard, and tan, and glittering eye,
Thou rightly judgeth me.

I leave a land of scalded plain,
Of mountains, forest grown;
For pelagics and for lifering I leave,
The land-locked state that I have known.

The feet will lose their balance,
Their souls ride above the wave.
And the birds be Gray, though no longer Jay
Where color meets its grave.

The elements will differ,
The birds will seldom sing,
Witness struggles, witness life and death
All transpiring on-the-wing

The pelagic promise draws me on,
To abandon my craggy home,
And drink deeply of my dramamine,
As I swap for sea from stone.

Intrepid with excitement,

Like a Nuthatch with a seed,

Go I now to expand my List,

And pursue the birder's creed.

But shudder yet, a frightful thought,
That robs me of my sleep.
Though blissful dreams should mine yet be,
Of Shearwaters diving in the deep.

So now embark to bird the waves,
Seek that landmark number from the hull.
So prayeth and yearn ABA 500,
Please be thy not a Western Gull!


  1. This was great! You're a regular Samuel Taylor Partridge. We've gone on a few pelagic out of Florida, but haven't ventured out into the Pacific yet. I hear it's anything but pacific, but the birds will surely compensate for any seasickness, provided you remain conscious. Good luck out there, and keep ABA 500 warm for me.

    1. Luckily I do not have to target much specific on the pacific, with the exception of 5 or 6 species on the coast it'll all be new, with is embarrassing and exciting at a 1:3 ratio.

      500 shots, pinches, or some other commemoration will be in order.

      Hey next summer I'm looking to road trip up Route 1 towards Portland, so if y'all can go ahead and map out that whole area and the best birding spots...'preciate it.

    2. That's great news! I hope we'll have the area all figured out by then. You'll be more than welcome to at Casa de Hip if you need a place to crash

    3. Much appreciated Monsignor.
      That sounds like a cool place to stay...and also to get an arthroplasty if I were a Geri Birder. Hopefully it won't have to wait that long, either way.

  2. Pelagic birding poetry. A fine genre indeed.

    1. It's an esoteric, cheesy niche, but all niches must be filled, just as all itches must be scratched.

  3. Hmm...looks a lot like Mount Baldy! No Grouse or Pine Grosbeaks? Those birds will show themselves to you sometime in beyond epic measures.

    Nail those awesome pelagics. And your right, you don't want 500 to be a Western Gull, it should be an Albatross out at sea. Or a Jaeger.

    1. Mt. Baldy indeed!

      Alas, I got a much later start, and also had less time to stay, than intended and preferred, and couldn't make it but 2 miles up trail. Next summer it shall be done right!

  4. You are a master of verse as well as birds...500 eh? You are going to conquer North America in no time! Best of luck on the pelagic -- looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.

    Tell me, what percent of your list have you found in-state?

  5. Nice post Mr. Laurence!!! Awesome photos too, Gray Jay and Red-breasted Nuthatches are awesome birds, but I have yet to see the GRJA!!!

    1. Cheers Caleb,

      Tis only one place to do it in AZ. The mighty White Mountains await

  6. <3 <3 <3

    A pelagic trip is on my to-do wishlist. Before I do that however, I have to figure out how to do better photography on a lurking boat. I got some decent shots in the Galapagos, but that was more sheer numbers than skill.