Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Wild Geese and Poplars, 1956; watercolor on paper, 39 x 26 1/2 inches; Private Collection
Charles Burchfield, Journals, September 28, 1914
Monday, September 28, 2020
Awake at 6:00.
Look out of window eastward. Half of horizon is brilliant yellow; trees blackish; heavy frost. Roofs, & grass, white. Crystal air.
Just as the sun struck the tip-top foliage of some trees southward, up out of the south came a murmurous noise, sounding like grease spattering in a thousand skillets, going louder and louder, till – wonderful! a million blackbirds! each & every throat pouring down a hundred chirppings (sic). They were a splendid sight, as they thrummed overhead in swift rollicking flight. Two flocks there were, - the morning was now indelibly stamped on my memory.
Cries and calls of robins on all sides; chattering of sparrows. It was a perfect frosty March morning.
To Work: Sky a clear frosty blue; the sun striking the frost-roughened roofs, turned them to blinding glass.
Air spoke-hazed eastward.
Noon - sky a most wonderful pure blue. Coolth on the air.
October - thinned poplar trees, looking like great veiny worm-eaten leaves, blue smoke streaming thru (sic) their whitish green branches, leaf-rustled ground; cool air; yellow sunset - blackbird dotted. A swallow or two - still.
Dandelions at their height.
I am not observing nature very closely; my mind is occupied with thoughts of finances & returning to school. My ideas for “pictures” come from within. Such an instance was tonight while I was discussing ways & means. All at once a scene came before my mind. It was a winter woods at night, thru which I could see the dark sky which was studded with great bright blue stars. The blue stars were the most notable thing of the apparition.
There seems to be no insect sounds these last few nights.
Listening closely, I can hear an occasional pin-point creaking, and again a frog-like stronger call.
Air subtly cool. Smell of decayed leaves.
Charles E. Burchfield, September 28, 1914