Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our Own Experience with Adam

On April 11, Phil and I were chatting before the boys woke up when we heard an unexplained thud from the playroom.

We found an expiring bird, who had been confused by the window.

When Isaiah woke up, we looked at it together, its olive feathers, its gold head, and its black and white checkered breast. So a beautiful, interesting, delicate creature to hold.

But though we researched as best we could, in both books and online, we could not figure out what it was. The lack of knowledge bummed me out a bit. Since Adam named the animals, how sad that this one went to its demise, unknown.

On Sunday, we were at a friend's house when Isaiah found a tiny egg, only a bit bigger than a jelly bean, beautiful in shape and color. With the technology available today, we took a picture with a phone, texted a father who knows all things birds, and within five minutes received an answer that the egg was that of a Carolina wren. The nest was soon discovered in the gutter (falling to bits and apparently abandoned). But the egg had been named by our own version of Adam.

Sometimes it's all about who you know.

I sent the photo of my unknown bird friend and this morning learned that it's an ovenbird, a warbler.

Robert Frost wrote a lovely poem titled "The Oven Bird." And so that little thump in early April led to poetry today.

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.


  1. I think your little friend was an Oven Bird :) I've only seen them a couple times but never realized how beautiful their markings were. Thanks for posting the close ups!



  2. You're totally right! I'm not hoping more birds die on our windows, but it was very cool to get to see that one so clearly.