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They rise in a cloud at dawn from the Arctic tundra of La Perouse Bay to ride the back draft of a cold front racing toward the Gulf of Mexico. Circling for altitude, clusters break away to form chevrons of miracles. Old birds, knowing well the aroma of Lacassine marshes 2,000 miles down the aerial highway, beat the path barking orders to youngsters who gabble amongst themselves in excited cries. On this voyage the secrets of survival are borne on snow-white wings dipped in midnight; remembrances of the past are wrapped in downy breasts. Bearing runes of creation in a genetic code that defies illumination, they fall from the welkin onto our wetlands as handsels from God.


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