Wednesday, February 4, 2009

BIRDS AT HOME


I have always been interested in every kind of outdoor critter, but especially in the birds. When I was in my 20s, I officially declared myself a “birdwatcher” (a term I still often use in place of the now-favored “birder”). I’ve had endless hours of pleasure in nature with my bins, camera, field guide, and sketchpad, or just sitting and listening. A friend once asked my how I got so interested in birds, and I said I didn’t really know, I just always had been. But then one day I remember this book, and the lightbulb went on.

My parents were book lovers, constant readers, but they didn’t have any particular interest in nature. My dad taught me how to whistle by imitating a male cardinal, and we always looked for the first robin each spring, and that was about it. Why they picked out this book for me, I’ll never know. It was probably just a whim, maybe because the pictures were so pretty. I remembered the connection too late to be able to ask them why they picked it, or to tell them that their serendipitous selection has given me a lifetime interest and so much enjoyment.

Birds At Home has been out of print for some time. It was originally copyright in 1942; I probably received mine in the mid- to late fifties, but the one in the photo isn’t my original copy. That one was lost and forgotten through too many moves over too many years. The one in the photo is a replacement from an Amazon used bookseller. Since I grew up in Detroit, I ordered my copy from a seller in Canton, Michigan. Alas, it turned out not to be my long-lost copy; the inside cover has “ Babs Bader” written in pencil. Maybe somewhere out there someone has a copy with my name written in it. (And Babs, if you’re out there reading this, and you want your old book back, I’ll send it to you!)

15 comments:

Aleta said...

Funny to read this post by you today. Yesterday I posted on my blog about a dove that has yet again nested right on top of our garage door motor!

I even have a picture ~ let me know if you have any knowledge of doves.

Lin said...

what a fun story to share with your family and friends about the influence your parents had on your life. enjoyed reading it.

Kallen305 said...

Wonderful story that I enjoyed hearing. That book looks so cute!! I love vintage anything but especially books!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I hope Babs is reading your blog today.. It would be nice to get your own copy back!!!!

I don't think I ever saw that book, but I'm sure it is a good one. I have about 3-4 bird books--and use the internet ALOT these days to help decide which bird is which.

Good Luck with the bird-watching!!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Poetikat said...

I love the cover of this book. For me, it was two books: a pocket book called "The Golden Book of Birds" and a very elaborate colouring book that was every well-known variety of bird - the pages were large and square, rather than your 8x10 and I used every medium on them - pastels, crayons, paint - I even remember using Q-tips and tempra to fill in the open spaces.
I used to sit out in my backyard with a pair of Bushnell's and draw bluejays, cardinals, robins, etc. It's been a lifelong love and it is ever-strong what with the many visitors I have to my own backyard now.

Kat

Sylvia K said...

A fun post! For whatever reason, I can't see the picture -- just a blank spot, but it would be fun if Babs is a blogger and found you! Thanks for sharing!

gardenpath said...

I went to a two room country shool in Oklahoma when I was a kid. We had a small lbrary, actually a corner of the room the higher grades worked it. That book was there!!

nina said...

That would be so wonderfuk to get YOUR copy back!
Yes, the things of our early years, and remembering too late....

Tess said...

I enjoyed the post. keep posting! youre good!

Raymonty said...

DRY HUMOR: Something to always remember, 'Wet birds don't fly at night'. . . . . Does anyone know what comedian said that?

Naturegirl said...

Sure would be nice if yours turned up..birding is a wonderful pastime! I'm really into watching for the Trumpeter swan..I'll be in Arizona in a few weeks so I wonder if I'll see them there..however I'm sure I'll enjoy birding in the desert!Enjoy birding! :) NG

Cloudia said...

Birds are wonderful little people! I love them too; messengers from high places. Aloha-

magiceye said...

bonding with the birds! great way to spend time!

Indrani said...

Old books are a treasure and so sweet of you to offer it back to the original owner. I hope you get your book back too. :)

Quiet Paths said...

I think your folks know....

And, I will keep my eye peeled for this book - who can say where it might pop up?