Birds of Oklahoma Winter

 

Oklahoma with its mild winter is host to many birds. The meadowlark and the cardinals keep busy and wait out spring along with nuthatches and the tiny tufted titmouse. The meadowlark with its yellow chest and belly and its stripes and choir scarf of jet black is my favorite of all the birds.

The winters are not hard or long here on the Oklahoma plains. With the brownheaded cowbirds and the redwinged blackbirds, the blue jay, a multitude of sparrows, doves, and the indomitable crow we wait together. We hope for a bit of snow and sometimes have ice instead which wreaks havoc on the trees and power lines. The birds don’t mind as long as I fill the feeders!

Here’s my spring poem about the meadowlark. I hope you enjoy it!

Meadowlark

By Elece Hollis

Dandelions in the grass

Smiling sweetly as I pass

Nodding heads of yellow fluff

You tell me I don’t smile enough?

 

Meadowlark perched on the fence

Would you sing for fifty cents?

“I only sing for free,” said he,

“For life is sweet and good to me.”

 

Iris fronds like swords of green

Purple blossoms in between,

You say I’m walking much too fast?

How many wonders I walk past!

 

Oak tree towering overhead

Rooted in a lily bed

My vision is too small you think?

I do not know how deep roots sink?

 

Snow white clouds up in the blue

You tell me what I fear is true.

I hurry, scurry, stop too rarely

Only know my world too sparely!

 

Remind me to come out of self

To take my soul down from the shelf,

To find the Lark’s own cause to sing.

Yes, life is good and sweet in spring.

 

 

Elece Hollis is a mother to seven and grandmother to 24. She lives in Oklahoma where she is retired from homeschooling  and writes full time. Elece likes to paint, write poetry, and is a photographer who enjoys shooting nature, especially flowers. She helps her husband on their 80 acre farm where they grow pecans and raise beef cattle. She is currently working on a book of prayers and a book of poetry.

 

Life with Mama (http://bit.ly/2LIFEMAMA)

What’s Good About Home (http://bit.ly/2MYHOME)

Heart of Spring (http://bit.ly/TeachSprg1)

 

 

Cats and Catbirds

This cat loves to sleep on the porch swing where she can watch the birds come and go to the feeders and dream of catching one for supper.
Another favorite hangout is inside a cozy birdcage that was stored in the garage. The door latch was broken and the cats started taking turns sleeping inside. We call them our catbirds.

This black and white kitten came to live on our farm when Margaret moved and couldn’t take her along. 
She is a beautiful cat.

Cats and Catbirds

This cat loves to sleep on the porch swing where she can watch the birds come and go to the feeders and dream of catching one for supper.
Another favorite hangout is inside a cozy birdcage that was stored in the garage. The door latch was broken and the cats started taking turns sleeping inside. We call them our catbirds.

This black and white kitten came to live on our farm when Margaret moved and couldn’t take her along. 
She is a beautiful cat.

Azalea Gardens in Muskogee, Oklahoma

One April morning in Muskogee those azaleas begin to burst open. Everyone has been waiting.
Horse drawn carriages carry the park visitors  around to see the park set on the hills west of town.
Horses are one of the many happy sights.
Ducks and geese are another!
Friends stop to rest on one of the docks that surround the pond.
(Alton, Evan, Julie, Brenna, and Quinton)
One of my favorite azaleas is this wonderful pink variety.
A bride and her maid-of-honor ride in the white carriage.
White azaleas for the bride.
Azaleas are sold at the Festival in April.
This one and the pink favorite above, I bought and have enjoyed in my yard the last few years.
These friends have a tradition of visiting the gardens every spring for a picnic and a hike up the waterfall trail.
These friends have a tradition of enjoying the flowers too.
Don’t miss out on the gardens this year. Tulips and dogwood bloom early, and then azaleas, and later the park shows roses. There is a boardwalk around the pond, a gift and flower shop, and a playground. There are picnic tables under shade trees and a baseball field where children fly kites.
The Azalea Gardens are wonderful!

Azalea Gardens in Muskogee, Oklahoma

One April morning in Muskogee those azaleas begin to burst open. Everyone has been waiting.
Horse drawn carriages carry the park visitors  around to see the park set on the hills west of town.
Horses are one of the many happy sights.
Ducks and geese are another!
Friends stop to rest on one of the docks that surround the pond.
(Alton, Evan, Julie, Brenna, and Quinton)
One of my favorite azaleas is this wonderful pink variety.
A bride and her maid-of-honor ride in the white carriage.
White azaleas for the bride.
Azaleas are sold at the Festival in April.
This one and the pink favorite above, I bought and have enjoyed in my yard the last few years.
These friends have a tradition of visiting the gardens every spring for a picnic and a hike up the waterfall trail.
These friends have a tradition of enjoying the flowers too.
Don’t miss out on the gardens this year. Tulips and dogwood bloom early, and then azaleas, and later the park shows roses. There is a boardwalk around the pond, a gift and flower shop, and a playground. There are picnic tables under shade trees and a baseball field where children fly kites.
The Azalea Gardens are wonderful!

Announcing Spring!

Like the ruffled skirts of Texas square dancers—the petals of the daffodils stand out and unfurl to wave spring under our hungry noses—to wave yellow—from creamery butter yellow, to pastel Easter egg yellow, to lemon pie custard yellow, to egg yolk.

The flower trumpets—some slender and waxy—some wide and fluted—others round and short blare out to the world the good news. Daffodils are the voice of spring. They shout to our shuttered winter-weary brains, “Hey, you! Spring is here! Yes, it is. Believe it!”

Nothing in nature is yellow in winter. Even the goldfinch is drab gray and pale olive in the winter and doesn’t put on his bright uniform until spring has arrived. All the yellows of fall leaves and bright Chrysanthemums fade and disappear. All the yellows of our world disappear come winter and everything turns gray and brown.

 

The forsythia sends up yellow pennants on its shooting star branches. The wind comes to dance with her and wave the blue birds to their nesting boxes. You can hear spring coming—just up the road coming closer—humming—not singing out loud yet—just humming the refrain—the promise.

Summer will come with sunshine on yellow dandelions, on yellow tulip blossoms, on roses, on marigolds and black-eyed-Susans, on yellow sulphurs flitting over a sky-reflecting puddle, the yellow of a grandbaby’s silky sun-drenched hair, the yellow of promise, the yellow of joy.

The desert and the dry land will become happy; the desert will be glad and will produce flowers. Like a flower, it will have many blooms. It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting for joy.
Isaiah 35 1-2 NCV

Announcing Spring!

Like the ruffled skirts of Texas square dancers—the petals of the daffodils stand out and unfurl to wave spring under our hungry noses—to wave yellow—from creamery butter yellow, to pastel Easter egg yellow, to lemon pie custard yellow, to egg yolk.

The flower trumpets—some slender and waxy—some wide and fluted—others round and short blare out to the world the good news. Daffodils are the voice of spring. They shout to our shuttered winter-weary brains, “Hey, you! Spring is here! Yes, it is. Believe it!”

Nothing in nature is yellow in winter. Even the goldfinch is drab gray and pale olive in the winter and doesn’t put on his bright uniform until spring has arrived. All the yellows of fall leaves and bright Chrysanthemums fade and disappear. All the yellows of our world disappear come winter and everything turns gray and brown.

The forsythia sends up yellow pennants on its shooting star branches. The wind comes to dance with her and wave the blue birds to their nesting boxes. You can hear spring coming—just up the road coming closer—humming—not singing out loud yet—just humming the refrain—the promise.

 

Summer will come with sunshine on yellow dandelions, on yellow tulip blossoms, on roses, on marigolds and black-eyed-Susans, on yellow sulphurs flitting over a sky-reflecting puddle, the yellow of a grandbaby’s silky sun-drenched hair, the yellow of promise, the yellow of joy.

The desert and the dry land will become happy; the desert will be glad and will produce flowers. Like a flower, it will have many blooms. It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting for joy.
Isaiah 35 1-2 NCV