Between the wild forest and lands appropriated by man lies the edge, a chaotic habitat populated with hardy adventurers. In this rough realm, a beautiful queen holds court in her signature gown trimmed in white lace. Queen Anne’s lace they call it, and it has magic powers.
Frederick, Maryland. September 23, 2014.
It’s the first day of autumn. As the day comes to a close, a starling settles on a utility wire stretched above a suburban mall. Within minutes, dozens—then hundreds—more arrive and take their seats on the line. Suddenly, footlights of red and gold light up the sky, and the show begins. New flocks appear and dance for the gathered audience. They sweep across the sky in unified black waves—rising, dipping and weaving in perfect unison—to raucous approval from the crowd. Too soon, the footlights dim and purple clouds pull a curtain across the celestial stage. Performers and audience exit together, ushered by night over the far horizon.