Wednesday, 20 February 2013



I have always been fascinated by birds ever since my father came home with a huge tome of Audubon's picture plates.  I was in Kindergarten.  I would flop on the carpet and turn the pages and examine all the different birds.
 One spectacular painting showed a snake crawling up the tree towards a target bird.  That was before TV and when we were still taught to treat any book with great respect.  Now I scribble and highlight in them, even my bible has notes all over the margins.  It took me a long time to be able to do that without guilt.  That would make my great-grandmother pass out.  Such blasphemy.  But at one time books were rare objects to own.  They were treated like the jewels they were.  I wonder where that huge Audubon tome with all the pictures/drawings is now?  We used to have a clock much like this in our back yard.  I always knew it was 5:00 and Happy Hour when the Tufted Titmouse sang.  For years I tallied the feathered visitors to our winter bird feeders for the USA's Cornell University's Ornithology Lab which collaborated on data collected with Canada Bird Studies.             
I will join again when we are settled into a more-permanent home.  But still when we are camping I keep my reference books and binoculars close by.

What set that thought in motion was some pictures sent on the Internet of my grand-daughters in Ontario.  They were out in the woods and were delighted to be able to feed the chickadees and get them to land on them. (on the hand of the youngest and head of the elder).
For years I was too interested in riding horses and ranching and food gardens but came back to birds for my old age.  It is a simple, satisfying and peaceful hobby.  I am always learning something new.

Our elder grand-daughter has been stressed about a coming trip to the dentist as she needs to have a needle.  As she loves acting like royalty and having tea parties with tiaras, I sent her these two pictures of Katherine to show what happens if you don't take care of your teeth.  I told her the other choice was to have them all pulled out and get false ones, like grandad's, that scared her last fall when he let them drop out onto his chin.  I hope these pictures don't make the problem worse.     


  1. I think you sent your granddaughter a profound message about taking care of her teeth! Oh my!!

    I really enjoy aviaries that allow you to go inside and feed the birds. I've had a dozen land on me to sip nectar from a cup! It is such a great experience! Wonderful photos of your two grandchildren!

    I have a blogging friend in the Netherlands, named Gerda. Today she shared a blog with us, of an American living in the Netherlands, who writes about her experiences. It made me think of you, Karyn. I have subscribed to the new blogger and thought you might also enjoy her. Here is the link:

    Have a great Thursday!!

    1. The grand-girls were at a bird sanctuary on the St. Lawrence across from Ogdensburg NY. We have camped there twice with them. The birds are used to being fed. But our son spent hours as a child sitting outside in the snowy cold to get chickadees to land on his head and eventually they would walk down his nose and take seeds off of his stretched out tongue. I have wonderful memories of our oldest with birds in many different settings. Did I inherit that from him? I also wonder if you ever get these comments back on your comments. I make sure to go back a few sessions in yours in case you have commented on my comment. But it is tedious. I wish there was an alert.

  2. Love your take on books and birds. What is the story of the second Kate picture? Fake, real?

    1. probably some computer imaging and cut and paste....makes you wonder about what we see in the papers doesn't it....but those photos were both lifted from Google images under 'rotten teeth'

  3. I always think of W.C.Fields when I hear the word "chickadee" ... what great photos though.

    I grew up being aware of Audubon's paintings of birds too but had to settle for a much smaller handbook.

  4. Audubon's plates are certainly works of art. In Brighton, we used to go to the bird museum where they had stuffed examples of every British bird. That used to fascinate us. Now, whatever I do, I just get cats in the garden.