Monday, May 28, 2007

The Bluebirds and their Neighbors

When my sisters and I were very young, we, along with one of our cousins, used to visit our Kellogg grandparents in their NH homes (there were three over the years) for a couple of weeks each summer. We had the best times playing together, whether it was in the little cottage in the woods, the city apartment, or the home with the pond in the back field. Each place offered a plethera of opportunities to use our imaginations at play and we made the most of them.

One constant at each place, though, was books. Every day, sometimes for hours, our grandmother would read to us--all kinds of wonderful books: Sam Campbell books, Little House books, histories, biographies and more. One set I well was Neil Wayne Northey's Old Homestead series about animals and birds, somewhat similar to Thornton Burgess' Mother West Wind series, which she also read to us.

The Bluebirds and their Neighbors was the first book in the series, and it is this book that came to mind this weekend as I spent two days with my parents. The weather was lovely, and we spent a lot of time in the backyard watching the birds.

My parents have worked hard to make her backyard a haven for birds. They've lived in this house for three years, now. The first summer they were there, no birds came at all. It all but broke my mother's heart. The place they had moved from in MA had scores of bird varieties visiting on a daily basis, so to have none was a shock. Each season, though, more and more birds have come to the yard until now, the place is all but jumping with feathered friends of all sizes, shapes, and colors.

I'm still learning how to capture birds on film, but it is quite thrilling to see all these beautiful little things up close. And yesterday morning, I didn't even mind being sung awake at 5 in the morning by cardinals, house finches, and other songsters.

Photos: The bluebirds; male ruby throated hummingbird; illustration from The Bluebirds and their Neighbors; goldfinch at seed feeder; female Baltimore oriole enjoying summer suet; male goldfinch.


Sunny said...

Pretty good bird pics ya got there.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

I love your bird pictures. I don't think I get out at the right time to take them!

Patty said...

love the bird pictures. We are avid bird watchers and enjoy all the ones that visit our yard. Not long ago I found a bird list I had made at Plum Island in 1978.