Above: Robin’s Egg, May 29, 2017
“This year of which I write (1916), on April first a pair of robins began bringing grass and mud to the ledge of a south second-story window of my suburban home, for the purpose of making a nest. It need hardly be said that they were not disturbed…” Samuel A. Harper
In 2017, LibriVox celebrated it’s twelfth year in existence as a volunteer reading group with a themed collection of short pieces centered around the word “twelve.” I was the editor of this year’s collection, repeating my role from last year’s 11th anniversary.
My contribution was from Twelve months with the Birds and Poets, by Samuel A. Harper (1917). In this privately printed book, Harper has written a charming recollection of him and his young son watching a robin build a nest on a window ledge of the the family home. I picked this to read because I, myself, had a robin nesting just outside my study window this summer. Her nest was lodged on a tangle of cables running from the old TV roof antenna. From my perspective, it was a messy looking nest, but apparently not from the robin’s! When I came outside to photograph it, the robin made clear in no uncertain terms that she resented my intrusion into “her” space.
The Illinois summer has brought a profusion of wildflowers. The cover I designed for the 12th anniversary collection was an abstraction based on a photo I had taken of the moth mullein flower. This roadside weed is not much to look at until you get up close and see the flower’s contrasting orange and purple centers, and then…wow!
There have also been some breathtaking sunrises this summer…
If you enjoy nature writing, you might like these books I have recorded:
The Adventures of a Nature Guide, by Enos A. Mills
The Desert, Further Studies in Natural Appearances, by John Charles Van Dyke
The Land of Little Rain, by Mary Hunter Austin
The White Heart of Mojave, by Edna Brush Perkins
or this blog post: Magic in a Clump of Cattails