Sunday, April 6, 2008

Symbolic Lucky Birds

About a month ago I took my Vertebrate Zoology class to Pittsburgh to the Zoo, Aquarium and National Aviary. It was a lucky trip on many genuinely lucky fronts (I have a great class, the aquarium man wanted to feed the sharks and let the students pet them, the aviary guide wanted to show-off her trained penguin for us) as well as several avoidance of misfortune fronts (a major bridge was closed but we had a map, traffic was horrible because of earlier accidents we weren't in, we were hours late returning home but nobody whined, in rained all day but it snowed a foot the next day).

The cranes at the aviary, a good luck symbol throughout Asia and now most happily nesting at the DMZ prompted thought on personal vs. widespread bird symbolism. I'll agree that bald eagles are majestic and stunning but there is nothing peaceful about a dumb cooing dove. I associate hawks with soaring rather than war. To me, cranes are more comic than lucky, but I do have my own list of lucky birds.

1) Great Blue Herons. A prominent personal symbol in my life (which may or may not have been foreseen in a spirit guide card reading) and part of my totem, herons will receive a whole post later.

2) Turkey Vultures. The first time I lived near a flock of turkey vultures at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, I found it a bit disquieting. Here we have two or three "Vulture Trees" with ten to fifty vultures perched in each. Many evenings I'll walk home with the whole bunch circling above on the thermals. Over time, they've become a symbol of home and their recent return was a much more pronounced indicator of spring than the robins or the cardinals. Lucky vultures!

3) Jayhawks. For obvious reasons. Rock chalk! Go KU!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like the site, however black background is hard on the eyes.