Fragrant Quote for june 13th, 2012-The boyhood of a naturalist: by John Muir By John Muir

Brown headed Thrush


Fragrant Quote for june 13th, 2012-The boyhood of a naturalist: by John Muir By John Muir

None of the bird people of Wisconsin welcomed us more heartily than the common robin. Far from showing alarm at the coming of settlers into their native woods, they reared their young around our gardens as if they liked us, and how heartily we admired the beauty and fine manners of these graceful birds and their loud cheery song of Fear not, fear not, cheer up, cheer up. It was easy to love them for they reminded us of the robin redbreast of Scotland. Like the bluebirds they dared every danger in defense of home, and we often wondered that birds so gentle could be so bold and that sweetvoiced singers could so fiercely fight and scold.

Of all the great singers that sweeten Wisconsin one of the best known and best loved is the brown thrush or thrasher, strong and able without being familiar, and easily seen and heard. Rosy purple evenings after thundershowers are the favorite song-times, when the winds have died away and the steaming ground and the leaves and flowers fill the air with fragrance. Then the male makes haste to the topmost spray of an oak tree and sings loud and clear with delightful enthusiasm until sundown, mostly I suppose for his mate sitting on the precious eggs in a brush heap. And how faithful and watchful and daring he is! Woe to the snake or squirrel that ventured to go nigh the nest! We often saw him diving on them, pecking them about the head and driving them away as bravely as the kingbird drives away hawks. Their rich and varied strains make the air fairly quiver. We boys often tried to interpret the wild ringing melody and put it into words.