Thursday, May 28, 2015


There is a phenomenon in the ocean called a deep scattering layer.  
It refers to a dense grouping of animal life that is so thick that it appears as a land mass.  Early sonar readings would find an unusually high seabed, but were later to discover that the pinging echoes were being deflected by the deep scattering layer…….a layer of marine life that “scatters” sound.  In effect it gives a false reading on things.  It was only discovered when someone realized it was moving.


Besides just loving the phrase itself, the image of this has stayed with me for the past week.  It makes me think of those dense areas of our personalities that reflect things back to us and not always accurately.  Maybe old wounded places, scar tissue, making it hard to see a clear picture of our parts.  Or maybe it is the thought of deep rich fluid wells of nurturance, soul food, a hidden variety that we would only see at ocean bottom, things only visible when we managed to get down, down under the surface movement.


Don’t you love words or phrases that take you somewhere else.  Words that pull you into an ocean of  experience.  

Imagine what it would be like to be underwater and swim into the scattering layer. 

I think it would feel odd to begin with.  Scary maybe.   The light would dim.  

I remember swimming in a mountain lake in upstate New York many years ago on a hot summer afternoon, and as the day cooled, the small fish from the bottom were rising and I suddenly felt them bumping into my body, my legs and even my face.  Initially it was terrifying but soon I relaxed and it became a sensation not unlike a massage.  It was comforting even.

I wonder if humans will ever make peace with all of us critters...  real and metaphorical.

Swim Deeply.  

Misty Wycoff
28 May 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015


I came upon this list of collective nouns for birds, and was struck by the beauty and bit of whimsey that seems to have accompanied the naming of such.  I cannot find evidence of when this began or who actually assigned these descriptive words to bird groupings, but it got me thinking about other creatures......we could play here.....  a TUMBLING  of cats

a YIPPING of coyotes.......    a SLITHERING of snakes...  an INCHING of worms, 

                         and then what we we do for HUMANS????

a YEARNING  of humans?    a TALK of humans?    THOUGHT of humans?

Send me any you think of, and in the meantime enjoy the birds!

aerie of eagles 
aerie of hawks 
ascension of larks 
band of jays 
bevy of doves 
bevy of quail 
bevy of swans 
bouquet of pheasants (when flushed) 
brace of ducks 

brood of chickens 

brood of chicks 
brood of hens 
brood of turkeys (immature) 
building of rooks 
bury of conies 
cast of hawks 
chain of bobolinks 
charm of finches 
charm of goldfinches 
charm of hummingbirds 
chattering of choughs 
chattering of chicks 
clamor of rooks 
clutch of chicks 
colony of gulls 
colony of penguins 
colony of vultures 

company of parrots 
congregation of birds 
congregation of plovers 
conspirancy of ravens 
convocation of eagles 
cote of doves 
cover of coots 
covey of pheasants (on the ground) 
covey of ptarmigans 
covey of grouse 
covey of partridges 
covey of quail 
crèche of penguins 
deceit of lapwings 
descent of woodpeckers 
dissimulation of birds 
dole of doves 
dule of turtledoves 
dule of doves 
exaltation of larks 
fall of woodcocks 
flight of birds 

flight of cormorants 
flight of doves 
flight of pigeons 
flight of swallows 
flock of birds
flock of chickens 
flock of ducks 
flock of geese 
flock of pigeons 
flock of swifts 
flock of turkeys 
flush of ducks 
gaggle of geese 
hedge of herons 
herd of curlews 
herd of swans
host of sparrows 
huddle of penguins 
kettle of hawks 

lamentation of swans 
mob of emus 
murder of crows 
murmuration of starlings
muster of peacocks 
muster of storks 
mustering of storks 
nest of pheasants 
nide of pheasants (on the ground) 
nye of pheasants (on the ground) 

ostentation of peacocks 
pack of grouse 
paddling of ducks 
parcel of penguins 
parliament of rooks 
parliament of owls 
party of jays 
peep of chickens 
piteousness of doves 
pitying of turtledoves 
plump of wildfowl 
plump or waterfowl 
raft of wigeons 
raft of ducks 
rafter of turkeys 
rookery of penguins 
scold of jays 
sedge of bitterns 
sedge of cranes 

sedge of herons 
siege of bitterns 
siege of cranes
siege of herons 
skein of geese (in flight) 
skein of goslings 
sord of mallards 
spring of teals 
storytelling of crows 
storytelling of ravens 
storytelling of rooks 
team of ducks 
tidings of magpies 
unkindness of ravens 
volery of birds 
wake of buzzards 
walk of snipes 
watch of nightingales 
wedge of geese (flying in a 'V') 
wedge of swans (flying in a 'V') 
wing of plovers 

wisdom of owls 
wisp of snipes

Oh YES!  How about a BLESSING of humans?  Have a great weekend.   Misty  May 8, 2015