Robins’ Dusk Chorus / Moon Phase

The robins' dusk chorus ran from about 7:15 to 8:00 this evening. This is what might be called passive territorial singing--the birds take positions in the sunlit tops of trees, no bird nearer than around 250′ from any other. They then run through their repertoire until, presumably, they get tired of hearing their own voices & head off to roost. Not all of them I heard this evening were necessarily males, as has been commonly thought. Recent research shows that females sing this way too. The moon is waxing gibbous, not quite ¾ full. It looks like it will reach its zenith tonight around 9:30, just after passing over the gap between the two biggest maple trees in the yard.  

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Robins’ Dusk Chorus / Moon Phase”

  1. I thought I knew what an abalone moon is (was?) Even wrote a poem with that title. But now I wonder. Just looked to me like an abalone shell. I don’t even know where I got the name. Maybe I heard it. “Gibbous” moon sounds so arcane. “Tell me Tell me” as Miss Moore’s poem starts with the title. As I recall it. (I may find I was wrong to begin with while ending with something ok and different. Like having your poem set to music that changes it possibly completely and/ but hearing it again and again and again just on its own, you can like it for itself.) Know what I mean? (Even if I don’t.)

    1. I think the gibbous moon looks quite a bit like an abalone shell, actually. What does Pound say? “The natural object is always the adequate symbol” (though I think maybe he meant “metaphor” rather than “symbol.” But check this out:

      Apparently, an abalone moon is a Real Thing & one of the things it is, is a poetry journal. And my quick sniff around the internet just now suggests this moon is associated with healing in Native American lore, though that connection may be spurious. Here is a site that lists just about every Indian moon name you can imagine–Alas, no Abalone Moon:

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