Saturday Soundings

Evangeline West

Beaumont, Texas

March 30, 2019


Still slap-dark and I’m working at my desk, waiting out of the corner of my ear for the robin to start up with his “low whistled phrases of liquid quality” and the catbird his “rambling, halting warble,” with a “mew” or two thrown in to earn his name.  Later will come the clarion cardinal, the raucous jay.  Oh, and the “piercing, thin high whistle” of the broad-winged hawk. Finally spotted one yesterday – a juvenile.


Speaking of juveniles, my granddaughter is walking.  And climbing. Here we go!   One of her favorite things to murmur is “eieio.”  She’s still perfecting the “o.”


She’s also gardening:


Grace Note for Late March

Evangeline West

Beaumont, Texas

March 28, 2019


I call this tiny fellow a “lit-up lemon drop.”

He’s really a male American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis,in full breeding plumage.

He’s been hanging around the bird feeder some days now, in all his glory.

Goldfinches winter here.

They visit our southeast Texas feeders all through the colder months,

in their unisex coats of gray.

By late February there are touches of yellow, in male and female alike.

March brings a little more yellow for the males.

Then they are all gone north, to their nesting zone.

To see a male radiantly outfitted like this is rare.

Whatever is making him linger, I’m grateful.

His black forehead is fitting.

He’s a serious fellow, intent on bulking up for the journey north,

which surely will be soon.

I don’t like how the cardinals bully him.

If he minds he doesn’t show it.

He just gives way, then returns to his feeding.

The only thing that seems to make him cringe is the raucous cry of the jay.

A jay will get your attention, that’s for sure.


Too Many Carrots

March 19, 2019

I kept Amelia this morning. One activity is a given –  reading.  She continues to enjoy Women Who Changed the World.  I like it too but my emerging favorite is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (sp?)


I read some poems to her from my friend Jim Blackburn’s new book Hill Country Birds and Waters.  He’s working to choose a few of the poems for reading aloud to some groups later this spring.  I’m thinking his audiences will be adults.  But I would say a toddler’s opinion is worth plenty. So I let Jim know Amelia’s clear favorite: “the White-eyed Vireo.”


One thing I discovered is not Amelia’s favorite:  cooked carrots.  This she made clear by dropping them on the floor.  A little woman of firm opinions.