Sunday, February 20, 2011

John James Audubon

I was absolutely thrilled a couple of weeks ago to find a huge beautiful old hard bound book --- John James Audubon's "The Birds of North America"  for only $3.00 at Goodwill!  I came home and poured through the pages, examining his drawings with true admiration for his incredible skills and attention to detail that could only come  from a lifetime of devotion to the study of birds as well as a God-given talent for illustration.

The book "Bright Wings" contains a poem which is a tribute to Audubon, and I now share it with you --

        John James Audubon

  Some men live for warlike deeds,
  Some for women's words.
  John James Audubon
  Lived to look at birds.

  Pretty birds and funny birds,
  All our native fowl
  From the little cedar waxwing
  To the Great Horned Owl.

  Let the wind blow hot or cold,
  Let it rain or snow,
  Everywhere the birds went,
  Audubon would go.

  Scrambling through a wilderness,
  Floating down a stream,
  All around America
  In a feathered dream.

  Thirty years of traveling,
  Pockets often bare,
  (Lucy Bakewell Audubon
  Patched them up with care).

  Followed grebe and meadowlark,
  Saw them sing and splash.
  (Lucy Bakewell Audubon
  Somehow raised the cash).

  Drew them all the way they lived
  In their habitats.
  (Lucy Bakewell Audubon
  Sometimes wondered "Cats"?)

  Colored them and printed them
  In a giant book.
  "Birds of North America"--
  All the world said,  "Look!"

  Gave him medals and degrees,
  Called him noble names,
  --Lucy Bakewell Audubon
  Kissed her queer John James.

            --Stephen Vincent Benet

Cedar Waxwing

Great Horned Owl



Doesn't the Meadowlark just make you think of Spring?  It's Beautiful.  So many birds today.
Be well and Happy.  Sing like the Spring Meadowlark!


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