A Summer’s Day
Black bees on the clover-heads drowsily clinging,
Where tall, feathered grasses and buttercups sway;
And all through the fields a white sprinkle of daisies,
Open-eyes at the setting of day.
Oh the heaps of sweet roses, sweet cinnamon roses,
In great crimson thickets that cover the wall!
And flocks of bright butterflies giddy to see them,
And a sunny blue sky over all.
Trailing boughs of the elms drooping over the hedges,
Where spiders their glimmering laces have spun;
And breezes that bend the light tops of the willows
And down through the meadow-grass run.
Silver-brown little birds sitting close in the branches,
And yellow wings flashing from hillock to tree;
And wide-wheeling swallows that dip to the marshes
And bobolinks crazy with glee;–
So crazy, they soar through the glow of the sunset
And warble their merriest notes as they fly,
Nor heed how the moths hover low in the hollows
And the dew gathers soft in the sky.
Then a round beaming moon o’er the blossomed hill coming,
Making paler the fields and the shadows more deep;
And through the wide meadows a murmurous humming
Of insects too happy to sleep.
Enchanted I sit on the bank by the willow
And hum the last snatch of a rollicking tune;
And since all this loveliness cannot be Heaven,
I know in my heart it is June.
Abba Goold Woolson
Mrs. Woolson lived from 1838 until 1921 and was a native of Maine. In 1915 she published the above poem as part of a collection of works in her book, With Garlands Green. I couldn’t think of a better way to start my June post than with her lovely words.
Welcome to June!
I’ll begin this post by borrowing Mrs. Woolson words– silver-brown little birds…
Hello to my Eastern phoebe. With his territory long-ago established, he’s fallen silent these past weeks, no longer filling the air with his characteristic ‘fee-bee’ call. That’s okay. I have loads of other birds to listen too. As for Mr. Phoebe, I get to enjoy his antics as he captures all manner of fluttery insects on wing.
Here’s another pair of silver-brown birds, my serene mourning doves. Their call, a sorrowful ‘coo-coo’, brings to mind someone lamenting over the loss of a loved one. Not the most joyous of songbirds, but, still, a joy to behold.
One of the most vocal songbirds spending this summer with me are the Baltimore orioles. My photos don’t do them justice, especially when two males are vying for the affection of a single female.
I learned something this breeding season; Baltimore orioles use a similar courtship technique to Northern cardinals. A Northern cardinal male will feed the female sunflower seeds as a way to form a breeding bond.
With Baltimore orioles, the female flaps her wings and ‘cheeps’ like a fledgling to entice the male to feed her.
Once the breeding pair has been established, the female starts collecting material for her nest. The female in the lower photo was having a little trouble. She had her heart set on a piece of string attached to Harlee’s run.
I helped her out by cutting off the string and adding a few more strands around the yard.
If you’ve never seen a Baltimore oriole nest, you’re missing out.
These are such cool birds, they might just become my favorite type.
Or, they might not become my favorites. Not when the ruby-throated hummingbirds are around.
This last picture is like a Where’s Waldo pic. Can you find the hummer?
If I’m picking favorites, the rose-breasted grosbeak needs to be added to the list. Although I only get a single glimpse each breeding season, it’s always worth the wait.
My mother’s favorite songbird was the Northern cardinal. This one’s for you, Ma!
Last but not-in-the-least least are my ducks. Man, I do love my ducks, although they haven’t given me any grand-chicks yet. I know the eggs have hatched because I’ve got a yard filled with drakes. A drake will leave his hen when their eggs hatch. Off he’ll go, with the hopes of hooking up with a second, sexy little number. As for my males, they’re all hanging around eating and basking in the sun. (When there is sun. This has been one heck of a rainy spring.)
Whenever a hen flies by some of the males will take off in pursuit. One lucky guy actually got himself a second mate.
As I mentioned, no ducklings yet. This time last year, I was swimming in chicks. I don’t know if it’s all the rain we’ve been getting or the chilly days and nights, but the beaches are barren.
I want babies!!!!!
My last topic is my clematis vine. It finally bloomed! After two years of nothing, I have a blossom. You should have seen me dancing around the yard, whooping and singling.
My joy was short-lived because when I took Harlee for his walk I passed a house with a vine sporting about a gazillion blossoms. Oh well, someday. Sigh.
In parting, I hope your June is wondrous and filled with health, love, and the colors of Mother Nature.
Blessed be. :}