When you spend time looking for wolves, most of the time you end up watching other things instead.
On this evening, it was sandpipers. Semipalmated or Western? In the fading light, I couldn’t be sure, and it didn’t really matter. It was good enough to simply watch them wheel and swoop in unison, each bird exquisitely sensitive to its neighbour, each responding to the smallest flicker of a wing. The flock is borne of self-interest – it helps avoid predators and conserve energy in flight. Yet there is beautiful unity in what emerges: a collective, streaming through the air in synchrony at 60 km/h, dazzling and nearly untouchable, far safer than when they act alone, each bird the beneficiary of the flock’s coordinated efforts.
But I guess there is nothing humans could learn from that.