The absence of sunlight caused me to oversleep today, so I missed much of the gray afternoon. I did get out in time to see an unusually large flock of migrating birds, flying extremely high, so that they looked like lines of ants crawling across the mottled clouds. Despite their great height, I could hear their calls. They were headed more west than south, so I'm guessing that they may have spent the recent mild days fishing at Lake Almanor and were now fleeing the increasing chill of the high country for the warmer climes of the marshlands and rice fields along the rivers between Chico and Sutter Buttes. There were so many birds in the flock that they were unable to maintain a single "V" formation, and their lines broke apart, forming multiple, fluid, subsidiary chevrons that wavered and rippled as their journey proceeded. I watched until they blurred with distance and were no longer recognizable as birds, but had become only a vague shimmer in the darkening sky.
Then I had the traditional holiday feast of chili relleno casserole with salsa fresca and succotash to celebrate the 146th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. There was Sierra Nevada Porter, too. Happy Darwin Day, everybody!