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Posts Tagged ‘stephen vincent benet’

“Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue.” – David Brent.

A Poem for a Bird-Watching Artist

John James Audubon’s painting of a cedar waxwing.

She called herself an SOB – Spouse of Birder. It was a humid, hot mosquito day and she had tagged along with her passionate birder husband – and wasn’t enjoying herself at all.

I felt sorry for her. We avid birders really are a queer lot, as poet Stephen Vincent Benet noted in the 1800s. In our passionate pursuit of the next bird we’ll see, we forget that not everyone enjoys spending the day in a buggy swamp, or likes to get up at 3 a.m. to hike to a place so they can see a red-cockaded woodpecker at dawn, or stand patiently for hours in hopes a rare bird will appear.

The SOB finally went off and found a comfortable spot to read, while we birders continued down the trail this day at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas.

A second painting of cedar waxwings by John James Audubon

It wasn’t either hot or buggy yesterday morning, however, when I spotted my first cedar waxwing here at Lake Walcott. This bird with its rakish mask and lemon-yellow, rosy-brown and cool-gray feathers is always a treat to spot.

The waxwing, the first of many I’m sure I will see before I leave the park, was sitting on a limb in plain sight of the trail, which my canine traveling companion, Pepper, and I were taking for our first walk of the day.

I had my camera in my pocket, but my the time I got Pepper under control on the leash, and was ready to snap a photo, the bird had flown. Drats. I was left without a photo for my blog.

Back at my RV, I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea of using John James Audubon’s painting of a cedar waxwing to illustrate my words. I typed in Audubon and waxwing and hit search. Up popped Benet’s poem titled, John James Audubon, which is what got me thinking about the SOB incident.

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