Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Coiled like a Snake, Watching...Waiting

"There's a heron crane on the pond!  He is a new crane with a white head and neck!  Quick, grab your camera!"

Paul and I hurried into the car and drove the short distance to a local pond where Blue Herons visit.  For several years now, we have enjoyed the cranes fishing and resting in meditative silence.  Sometimes they fly, showing a large blue gray wingspread. 

"There he is!  He's smaller than the other larger one.  Maybe he is younger?"

Hunting a crane with a camera is more difficult than it appears because shooting in digital is relatively new to us.  We were used to the old fashioned film cameras.  Those heavy monster relics (art cameras) gave us the ability to focus, zoom, point, and shoot in what seemed to be a less hurried manor.  I remembered my Dad using his Argus C-3 camera.  It did not have batteries.  I liked that!

We turned off the car and sweated and steamed in the heat and humidity.  Both of us took turns with the camera shots.  Neither of us could actually "see" what we were capturing because bright sunlight glaring on the small screen made shooting guesswork!  A crane took off!  I attempted to photograph the large wings and energy in motion.

"Missed Him!"

We drove around to the other side of the pond in great haste. 

"There he is in the reeds!"  He had flown up and relanded.

Seeing Double
We refocused on the crane and took some additional scenes.  Later at home "playbacking" the photos, we realized we had actually photographed two different cranes, one was all blue gray and larger, our familiar crane buddy.  *The other was smaller and had a white head and neck! 

Two Cranes Are Better Than One!

Majestic Crane Statue Still

The Magic of Cranes
The crane is very important in Chinese painting and Tai Chi practice.  Cranes are often pictured with a sun and pine trees.  The Mandarin crane represents health, strength, and longevity.  White Crane Spreads Wings ("Bai Huh Liang Shih") is a graceful and martial movement in Yang Long Form Tai Chi.  Shaolin White Crane is a Martial Style from the North.  Some of these white crane elements are blended into Mas Oyama's Japanese Karate form in Okinawa.

The crane is a study in meditative harmony, resting on one leg.  He is relaxed yet ever alert like a cat ready to spring.  He cocks his head to listen or watch for a fish.  Then all of a sudden and without effort, he strikes!  Success!  He conserves, he thinks, he knows like a sage on the mountain.

Walking meditation practiced by Buddhist monks and various Tai Chi walking forms mimic the meditative crane.  Watching a crane slowly walk-glide across a pond is a moment of harmony.

Cranes intend magical otherworldly dimensions in legends taking the form of Bodhisattvas (Buddhas electing to return to Earth lifetime after lifetime to teach Earth Friends).  What do cranes teach?  Patience, focus, quiet, balance, and the energy of watchful waiting in a hurried world are their lessons.  **When practicing Tai Chi and Qigong, we salute the crane and it's long heritage on the Earth of 24 million years.  ***Some say other Bodhisattvas in the form of human sages arrive on Earth riding on the backs of cranes to teach humans about science, music, painting, and more!

Count the Cranes:  Majesty in Motion
How many cranes do you see?  In the original painting there are five cranes taking flight.  This is a detail photo showing only three.  Notice the thick paint of palette knife and brush strokes hinting the texture of feathers.  The blue and green bushes and reflections at lakeside are added with a palette knife on its flat side.

Rob, my son, sees the parade of cranes flying as one single crane in a slide show of motion!  What dimensions do you see?

Salute the Tai Chi Crane with Stillness and Motion:  Thought (Yin) and Action (Yang)!

Related Posts:  Universe Shadows of Cranes tips to achieve your goal by Paul Lam, MD (Mar 2011) and Star Child with poem Saturday Colors (June 2011)

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/great_blue_heron/lifehistory  Cornell University Ornithology Lab   "Wurdemann's Herons have the body of the Great Blue Heron and the white head and neck of The Great White Heron."  The Great White Heron is found in Southern Florida and may interbreed with The Great Blue Heron.  Our friend migrated from the South!

**  www.earthlife.net/birds/cranes.html  Crowned Cranes (with straight necks) appeared in Africa 37-54 million years ago.  Typical Cranes (necks coil) are from 24 million years ago according to fossil records.

How to Grasp the Bird's Tail If You Don't Speak Chinese by Jane Schorre with calligraphy by Margaret Chang.  Yang Long Form Tai Chi movements are examined, building of Chinese characters, phonetic pronunciation guide

*** http://www.taichifarm.org/  The Tao of Meditation pictures sage riding on the back of a crane and The Dao of Taijiquan by Jou, Tsung Hwa

http://www.ymaa.com/  The Essence of Shaolin White Crane by Yang, Jwing-ming, Ph.D.  Self hypnosis relaxation meditation included.

The Magic of Cranes by Carl-Albrecht von Treuenfels, The crane in art and culture, many color photos of cranes world-wide.

http://www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org/  Paul Lam, M.D. learn about Tai Chi, improve your health with Tai Chi for Health Programs,  DVDs, workshops, articles, forum, free newsletter and more.

dahlis.roy@gmail.com  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor, original art work and custom prints, request free PDF E-book Silver Butterfly, Create A Vision, A Tai Chi journey with a mystic twist.

Photos: Watching...Waiting and Statue Still by Paul Roy

White Cranes Spread Wings, oil painting by Dahlis Roy