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)

 

 

Bright Song

 Beauty is God’s handwriting––a wayside sacrament. 
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, 
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bright Song
By Elece hollis
 
Beside the steam I found them 
Sunlit iris wild.
I stopped and walked among them with
 Wonder of a child.
 
I sat down and I listened
And I began to hear
Music from the forest, the ocean,
Coming near.
 
I think I heard a mountain 
Singing a sweet air
A melody, a tune, a hymn, a ballad 
I could share.
 
So I joined in the singing, 
The serenade of light;
An anthem, a soft lullaby, a sonnet,
Chorus bright.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Time


You’re a man, you’ve seen the world––
The beauty and the wonder and the power, 
The shape of things, their colors, lights and shades, 
Changes, surprises–– And God made it all!
Robert Browning

Time
By Elece Hollis

Time for vases of daffodils on the windowsill.
Time for filling the hummingbird feeders.
Time for sunny warmer days and thunder-stormy evenings.
Time for treefrogs singing after rain.
Time for listening for the returning song of the scissortail.
Time for goldfinches bright yellow in the dandelion patches.
Time to start mowing grass.
Time for azaleas blooming in the park.
Time for bumblebees investigating the first roses.
Time to eat asparagus for supper.
Time for watching the sunset from the porch swing.
Time for wonder. Time for renewal.
Time for dogwood.

My Fairy Garden

 I heard fairy gardens are very popular this year. “What’s a fairy garden,” I asked?
 They are, or so I hear,
 large container gardens decorated with tiny lawn furniture and trinkets, small plants and vines,
 As a place where the tiny creatures might like to hang out on summer nights. Being an essentially hospitable person, I decided to make a fairy garden for my porch.
I chose an abandoned bird’s nest as a more natural bed for a fairy .
  I gathered some plants with tiny blooms and leaves and some stuff that fairies might like furniture wise or as lawn ornaments, like sea shells, polished stones, and beach glass.
 A miniature fern
 A tinsy variegated ivy
If the rumor is true, fairies will come at night and lounge around in my fairy garden
 and leave me gifts like gold coins, fifty-cent pieces, and other treats.
 I planted a white moon vine that blooms only in the dark of night 
and gives off a sickly-sweet scent to draw special moths. 
I think the fairies will be awestruck!

My Fairy Garden

 I heard fairy gardens are very popular this year. “What’s a fairy garden,” I asked?
 They are, or so I hear,
 large container gardens decorated with tiny lawn furniture and trinkets, small plants and vines,
 As a place where the tiny creatures might like to hang out on summer nights. Being an essentially hospitable person, I decided to make a fairy garden for my porch.
I chose an abandoned bird’s nest as a more natural bed for a fairy .
  I gathered some plants with tiny blooms and leaves and some stuff that fairies might like furniture wise or as lawn ornaments, like sea shells, polished stones, and beach glass.
 A miniature fern
 A tinsy variegated ivy
If the rumor is true, fairies will come at night and lounge around in my fairy garden
 and leave me gifts like gold coins, fifty-cent pieces, and other treats.
 I planted a white moon vine that blooms only in the dark of night 
and gives off a sickly-sweet scent to draw special moths. 
I think the fairies will be awestruck!

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!