Friday, March 10, 2006


This man knew a thing or two about watching birds...

all I saw of
the bird was the bouncing
branch he left
-Matsuo Basho

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Up from the Egg: The Confessions of a Nuthatch Avoider-- Ogden Nash

Bird watchers top my honours list.
I aimed to be one, but I missed.
Since I’m both myopic and astigmatic,
My aim turned out to be erratic,
And I, bespectacled and binocular,
Exposed myself to comment jocular.
We don’t need too much birdlore, do we,
To tell a flamingo from a towhee;
Yet I cannot and never will,
Unless the silly bird stands still.
And there’s no enlightenment in a tour
Of ornithological literature.
Is yon strange creature a common chickadee,
Or a migrant
alouette from Picardy?
You rush to consult your Nature guide
And inspect the gallery inside,
But a bird in the open never looks
Like its picture in the birdie books---
Or if it once did, it has changed its plumage,
And plunges you back into ignorant gloomage.
That is why I sit here growing old by inches,
Watching the clock instead of finches,
But I sometimes visualize in my gin
The Audubon that I audibin.