Noise or Song: Neither

Roger Deakin
“The Rookery”
Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees

The more they flew, the more noise the rooks made. Whether you can call it melody is the question I lay pondering. Gilbert White goes so far as to say ‘rooks in the breeding season attempt sometimes, in the gaiety of their hearts, to sing, but with no great success.’ Most of the old bird-books attempt some version of ‘rude harmony’, ‘sweet thunder’ or ‘musical discord’, but I prefer to think of their utterances as conversation, or the roughest of folksong. Rooks speak in the strongest of country burrs. They are rasping, leathery, parched, raucous, hoarse, strangled, deep-throated, brawling, plaintive, never reticent and, like all good yokels, incomprehensible.

I just love that roving enumeration. And the conclusion that we know not.

And so for day 2529

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