Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yellow Legs, Dancing in the Red

Yesterday I had great fun with my mountain dulcimer, accompanying a very good mandolin player.  Playing music with someone else is high on my bucket list of life enjoyments, and something I don’t get to do nearly enough. 

I’m not a very good dulcimer player; mostly because I haven’t played that long and haven’t invested in the cost of lessons or the price of practice-time.  But more advanced dulcimer players would say it is  because I focus too much on breaking apart chords, and putting them back together, in rhythm with the tune's melody.  A "chording melody" style, not focusing on each individual melody note.   
My excuse?  Quite simply because I like how it sounds; parsing chords, mixed with select melody notes, creating a complementary rhythm to the complex dancing melody of a mandolin.  It is a richness of sound that I love, especially when Irish jigs are involved!

Every time I pick up my dulcimer and play a simple folk or Irish tune, I realize that I watch too much TV in the evenings.  TV leaves me feeling empty.  Music picks me up and reminds me that life is best lived with a dance step in mind.

And so I wanted to share these photos from Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and the dance I watched that day.  I had stopped my car, looking out onto a field of red, surprised by the burst of unknown color.  And then a glimpse of movement caught my eye.  Do you see her, in this field of red?

 I almost didn’t; and then I did.  Her bobbing dance, with legs lifted with each elegant dance step.  I stopped my car and got out as quietly as possible. 
I felt certain the above photo would be all that I got, as she kept her back turned to me, dance steps taking her away from my intrusion.  I quietly knelt down at the front of my car, camera in work regardless my precarious stance.  She rewarded me as her dance turned toward me, seemingly curious by the attentive audience.

I watched this beautiful Greater Yellowlegs perform her own unique dance through a field of Christmas-red flowers.

And then my knees gave out, and I was forced to stand.  She took this cue as Mother Nature taught her, dancing away into her world.  I thought of this Greater Yellowlegs as I played music yesterday.  Both are good memories.

P.S.  I’ve spent time on the web, attempting to find the name of the flowers, without success.  If you know, please share.  Aren’t they pretty?  And how about her yellow dance legs?  Isn't she lovely?


  1. Had to look at the last photos to find her in the first. Great shots. RC

  2. It isn't everyone who can make a Turkey Vulture look good!


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