Victorian England at 12,000 Feet


A tea party at the water’s edge:

white toupee, red waist-coat;

would you pass the sugar, please?

Today I return with two white-capped redstarts I observed last August in impeccably dapper finery in the Himalayas. Redstarts are fascinating to watch: they wait at the side of streams, and then without warning submerge themselves wholly in the water, staying under for such a time one cannot imagine surfacing – and yet, in the end, there they are, some hapless insect struggling in their beak. In their daily immersement in the water, perhaps their repeated emergence is holiest of all.

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