Up here in the Pacific Northwest, it is raining cats and dogs. It could literally rain cats and dogs next. Members of my blog community share with us a rain of starlings crashing into the English country town of Coxley, Somerset yesterday. A school of spangled perch pummeled a dusty Australian desert town back on 28 February. Spooky donut shaped clouds concerned people from Mexico to Moscow. Though popular curiosity is fixated on what the heck is causing birds to splat and fish to fly rather than fry, the prophets through history cast objective explanations aside and viewed these weird advents from the sky as messages from the heavens. (Sort of like Chicken Little.)
Many seers, including Nostradamus, were practitioners of Astromancy; a forerunner of Astrology sourced to the Chaldean and Babylonian divination techniques Nostradamus adopted from reading Fusino’s Latin translation of Mysteriis Aegyptorium, a grimoire of secret magical rites of divination by 2nd century neo-Platonist, Iamblicus. Astromancy was primal astrology without the horoscopes and mathematics that came later. In short, a diviner watched the movements of the stars and planets as godly messengers.
A subsidiary of this study comes into use when the gods in the sky must be crazy, throwing shooting stars, comets and even tossing a few animals on our heads. The divine art of Meteormancy to the rescue. The soothsayer can apply it to perhaps augur the meaning of fish puddles and bouncing birdie hail showers. The Roman augurs sought messages about the future in portents of eclipses, thunder and lightning, falling stars (and falling starlings). The latter portent required seers forsooth their knowledge of Ornithomancy — messages from higher planes sent through the behavior of birds. (Sort of like divining the future in the pattern of bird poop on your freshly washed car.)
“Watch the birdies” like Roman diviners popularly did and see what messages from the Gods they squawk, flock and pinion-point, for it was believed birds aloft in the sky were closer to the Gods than humus hominid you and me. Zeus’ eagles, Wotans raben, Odin’s ravens, they might be aware of divine intentions as feathered flies on the walls of Olympus or Valhalla. What then was the message from the Gods rendered in twisted beak-broken back-busted starlings in Coxley?
Here’s the full Daily Telegraph article shared with us from Haris, from this souce Mass bird death (11 March 2010). Here’s the full text:
Animal welfare experts in England are puzzled by the deaths of 75 starlings which apparently fell out of the sky and smashed into the ground.
The birds were found on the driveway of a home in Coxley, Somerset, with broken beaks, legs and wings as well as abdominal injuries.
RSPCA workers have begun investigating how the birds died but do not believe they were ill or poisoned before they fell from the sky. Six of the birds were still alive when they were found but had to be euthanased because their injuries were too severe.
“It was a remarkable sight, I’ve never seen anything like it,” animal welfare officer Alison Sparkes told the BBC.
“Onlookers said they heard a whooshing sound and then the birds just hit the ground.
“They had fallen on to the ground in quite a small area, about 12ft (3.6m) in diameter.
“They appeared to be in good condition other than injuries that they appear to have suffered when they hit they ground.
“Our best guess is that this happened because the starlings were trying to escape a predator such as a sparrow hawk and ended up crash landing.”
The mystery about what happened to the birds is just as puzzling as what caused the deaths of thousands of crows, pigeons, wattles and honeyeaters which fell out of the sky in Esperance, Western Australia in 2007. A few weeks later, dozens of grackles, sparrows and pigeons also dropped dead on the other side of the world in Austin, Texas.
The RSPCA believes it is possible that the birds found in England could have been chased by a predator but when they tried to swoop to escape, they flew too low and hit the ground.
The owner of the home where the dead birds were found, Julie Knight, described finding the creatures as “absolutely terrifying”.
“It was like something out of a horror film, like Hitchcock’s The Birds, ” she told The Daily Telegraph.
“The sky was raining starlings. One of my neighbors saw them. They seemed to just fall out of the sky.
“The only way to describe what they looked like is that they seemed to have had a fright and were petrified.
have been a country girl all my life and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Nature is sending us a message, but what in the world is it? Entre vous Nostradamus:
The Antichrist will be the infernal prince again for the (third and) last time… so many evils shall be committed by the means of, Satan, the infernal Prince, that almost the entire world shall be found undone and desolate. Before these events happen many rare birds will cry in the air, “Now! Now”! and sometime later will vanish.
Did the devil make the starlings hit the tarmac or was it just a hungry sparrow hawk?
All seriousness and Nostradamian hyperbole aside, there is something going on with the natural world. It is getting increasingly unnatural. I am putting final touches to a blog planned for posting on or just after the Ides of March (15th). It will look at the uptick of natural disasters and wild weather we have already seen in the first 2.5 months of the new year. You can read my many predictions in Predictions for 2010 about this year’s coming spike in natural disasters and climate change.
From Birds in a free fall crash in Coxley, we go downunder in my next blog to read the flap of fish falling on an Australian desert town.
(12 March 2010)