nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

morning bird chorus – ephemera

with 7 comments


When I was a child, one of the things I prized was my collection of ‘bird cards’. These were an advertising give-away from ‘Cow Brand Baking Soda’ (Church and Dwight Limited, Montreal, Canada).

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I would spend hours looking at these, putting them in order of the ones I liked best, thinking about the birds depicted. The Meadowlark was a local bird I had seen many times and his call was as familiar to me as breathing – he always made it to the top of the pile! Today the winner would be the Cedar Waxwing who sits in the tops of the pines at our cabin, or the Goldfinch who spends all winter at our feeders!

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Today I still have two packs of these cards. They are in sets of 16 in a paper envelope. The card sets are called ‘Useful Birds of America’ and the front of each card shows an image of a bird by artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927), an American ornithologist and artist. On the back, there is a tip on how to use ‘Cow Brand Baking Soda’, the bird’s common name, its scientific name and a charming paragraph about its appearance and habits. The card concludes with a short message still relevant today:

For the good of all, do not destroy the birds 

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 3, 2016 at 8:22 am

7 Responses

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  1. Thanks, Jane. That brought back memories of bird cards and wildflower cards I collected as a child that came in Red Rose tea. There were special books to glue them into. I liked to use them as flash cards to memorize their names. On the way to becoming a naturalist/interpreter in a national park! Here’s an image of the cards glued in an album.

    Liked by 1 person

    Karen Hine

    August 3, 2016 at 10:51 am

    • I wonder if we could tabulate the small incidents that lead to our vocations and professions, how often things like visits to parks and childhood collections and stories told to us would combine to defines our journeys! Jane

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      jane tims

      August 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm

  2. Jane, I remember similar cards from Red Rose Tea – they came in little plastic packages. I don’t know the name of the bird artist. I even had a special book (published by Red Rose) to paste the cards in – I wish I’d kept those cards. And Louis Fuertes was the first bird artist to paint birds in their natural habitat (instead of working from a very dead specimen like Audubon did).

    Liked by 1 person

    Lynn Davies

    August 3, 2016 at 10:10 am

    • Hi Lynn. I remember those cards as well. And the book to keep them. Another Red Rose Tea collection was of small figurines, animals and nursery rhymes. I looked up Louis Fuertes and he also had two birds named for him. Jane

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      jane tims

      August 3, 2016 at 4:25 pm

  3. And what a childhood treasure to have stayed with you, Jane. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    rogermoorepoet

    August 3, 2016 at 9:17 am

    • There must have been other sets because I remember a card about the redstart and I don’t see it among the ones I have.

      Like

      jane tims

      August 3, 2016 at 4:19 pm

  4. All things bright and beautiful: we had a cat bird meowing in the front trees this morning. Saw a pair earlier. And they stayed around.

    Liked by 1 person

    rogermoorepoet

    August 3, 2016 at 9:17 am


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