Knowledge never learned of schools
Of the wild bee’s morning chase,
Of the wild-flowers’ time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell;
How the woodchuck digs his cell;
And the ground-mole makes his well;
How the robin feeds her young;
How the oriole’s nest is hung.
Consider the marvelous life of a bird and the manner of its whole existence…. Consider the powers of that little mind of which the inner light flashes from the round bright eye; the skill in building its home, in finding its food, in protecting its mate, in serving its offspring, in preserving its own existence, surrounded as it is on all sides by the most rapacious enemies….
When left alone it is such a lovely little life—cradled among the hawthorn buds, searching for aphidæ amongst apple blossoms, drinking dew from the cup of a lily; awake when the gray light breaks in the east, throned on the topmost branch of a tree, swinging with it in the sunshine, flying from it through the air; then the friendly quarrel with a neighbor over a worm or berry; the joy of bearing grass-seed to his mate where she sits low down amongst the docks and daisies; the triumph of singing the praise of sunshine or of moonlight; the merry, busy, useful days; the peaceful sleep, steeped in the scent of the closed flower, with head under one wing and the leaves forming a green roof above.
THE BIRD’S STORY.
“I once lived in a little house,
And lived there very well;
I thought the world was small and round,
And made of pale blue shell.
I lived next in a little nest,
Nor needed any other;
I thought the world was made of straw,
And brooded by my mother.
One day I fluttered from the nest
To see what I could find.
I said: ‘The world is made of leaves,
I have been very blind.’
At length I flew beyond the tree,
Quite fit for grown-up labors;
I don’t know how the world is made,
And neither do my neighbors.”
By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalm 104:12 NKJV)
These three miscellaneous articles give various lessons. The Bird Miscellany informs us that book learning only goes so far, then you need to go out and observe what is going on around you. Same way with bird watching. You can read all the books, but you won’t become a birdwatcher until you go watch birds.
The second segment talks of a peaceful bird just enjoying its life. Last, the Bird’s Story reminds us of growing up.
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14 NKJV)
Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife. (Proverbs 17:1 NKJV)
If you have an opinion, leave a comment. Always interesting to hear different points of view.
The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.
To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)
Next Article – The Yellow-breasted Chat
The Previous Article – The Ring-necked Pheasant