I never saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker in my youth.
In 1985, my grandfather wrote: This is a southern species, fairly common in the oak forests of the eastern USA, but rare in Ontario, except in the extreme southwestern portion. When one shows up elsewhere in Ontario, word soon spreads and birdwatchers flock in to gaze at the beautiful bird.
These days I see them fairly regularly and we had one this morning high in the oaks at Marie Curtis Park.
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock. – James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)
Here is the poem about weeds that I said I would send you:
Oh Sing We Now The Holy Weeds
Oh sing we now the Holy Weeds
That flourish in the ditch,
For they are for the meek in needs,
They are not for the rich.
You cannot buy them at the mall,
Nor at the superstore,
They are despised because they all
Grow freely for the poor.
The Dandelion shoots, for spring,
Before their flowers burst;
The Burdock root is best in June
When it is fat with juice;
When autumn comes, the Acorn’s ripe,
The Walnut black is too;
Young Milkweed pods are sweet when boiled,
And Milkweed shoots when new.
The inner bark of Spruce and Birch
For extra Vitamin C –
But do not take too nuch of each,
Or you will kill the tree.
The Purslane, Sorrel, Lamb’s Quarters,
And Nettles, too, are good;
The Hawthorn, Elder, Sumac, Rose –
Their berries wholesome food.
The Holy Weeds are plentiful
And Beautiful to see –
For who can doubt God put them there
So starved we’ll never be?
From “The God’s Gardeners Oral Hymnbook”
Margaret Atwood (1939 – )
(This is part of the novel, “The Year Of The Flood).
I love Margaret Atwood’s poem!!
Such a great poem! It has to be read aloud…Yay, Margaret Atwood.