Chaos Theory, which I probably don’t understand at all, might be summed up as: “Nothing is as random or as predictable as we believe.” I like watching the cormorants at Rhododendron Park in Kenmore to prove it. The colony has a dusk-time ritual: individuals may already be perched on the branches of their favorite tree, peacefully getting ready to doze. Others want on, insistently. One or two at a time, the ones coming in late to the slumber party swoop in on branches of that tree, settling awkwardly and seemingly without any deliberate aim. And inevitably they sling off a neighbor, who goes flapping off in a huff, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem as if he (she?) actually needed to leave. And that neighbor comes barnstorming in and catapults off a neighbor. And so on and so on and so on. They are ungainly, ridiculous, and clumsy, and it’s incredibly funny. But I’ve never seen one get belligerent with another. I’ve never actually seen one touch another. They just do it, like restless children in the old song about rolling over in bed.
I watch them whenever possible. It’s rather encouraging to see something so oddly harmonious. Now I just need to get my hands on a real camera.
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