Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bird Haven - My Secret Garden

I love the "secret garden" that my husband has been laboring over for the six years that we have been living here. When we moved in there were two small trees, a couple of roses and maybe a half dozen ferns with NOTHING ELSE in the entire back yard. He views the yard as a "canvas" on which he can work his plant magic. We also try to give a variety of birds a welcoming habitat. I've been enjoying all my little bird friends who have been coming around this spring. We feed the birds and have nest boxes hanging in the trees and we have been rewarded with baby birds just finding their way in the world. I've particularly enjoyed all the newly minted little pine siskins taking baths in the bird bath, watching the humming birds bathe in the bubbler of the fountain and poke their beaks through the sides of the unopened irises to get a head start on the nectar. I was thinking that the chicadee I saw two days ago bathing in the top level of the fountain was a baby since it's feathers looked like he had hooked a toe in a live electric socket, but having seen a house finch today that looked about the same, I think they may be adults in process of molting. It's really pretty funny!
Here is a little montage of some fun little bird moments.

This photo is a little fuzzy looking due to having been taking through a screen when the sun was getting lower on the horizon. My little house finch friends.

One of my little hummingbird friends snacking at the golden iris.

You can't really tell because of the motion and the screen, but this is the chickadee that I thought must be a fledgling at first. Feathers were sticking out all directions! Looked more like a cartoon character than a little bird.

Little pine siskin getting a clean-up! Boy can they splash ~

My favorite little friend again, getting ready for a dip! I adore my little hummingbird friends!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Caspian Hard at Work

A few posts ago I demonstrated with Duncan, our gray cat, the occasional trials of working from home. I'm not actually complaining you understand, because I love walking downstairs to go to work. It has a few minor disadvantages and a myriad of spectacular advantages such as padding around in slippers, taking breaks when most convenient and being able to listen to music at whatever volume desired throughout the day. But there are a few minor issues that come up every now and then in addition to the lack of social interaction opportunities, such as standing and chatting around the water cooler with co-workers.
Duncan, one of our two masculine feline's, demonstrated his printer sleeping capabilities a few posts ago, an ability he still excells in at inconvenient times. At the moment I need to print nothing, so the printer lies quiet and empty.

Since our daughter, Caspian's "mom," has been out of town for three months, Caspian, four years older than Duncan and much more tabby looking, has determined that the antidote to his lonliness is watching over me as I work. He does make it difficult at times to get through tasks in a timely manner. But at least this not-so-little, but always-decorative work impediment is soft and generally moveable when necessity arises!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lines to an Absent Husband

Lines to an Absent Husband

Dearest Husband, Friend, Companion
Solace of my earthly joys
None so near in heart communion
None like this each grief destroy.

Absence us has separated;
Days like weeks they seem to be.
Time I have not overrated
Thought the weeks are only three.

From your presence I’m absented
Though in spirit feel thee near
Cannot from you be contented
Though I mingle with friends dear.

Could your presence be demanded
Swift I’d call you to my arms
But this boon must be suspended
Enjoyment seek in other charms.

Love hath bound us in affection
May this ever be our theme
When we can on retrospection
Glance with pleasure on life’s scenes

Heaven lend thee richest blessing
Scatter flowers in your way
Those immortal worth possessing
Wreathe thy brow in endless day

Heaven keep thee dear companion
In the path of duty go.
May our souls enjoy reunion
If we meet no more below.

Mary W. H. R.

*Mary Wight Healy was one of the daughters of the Nathaniel Healy -- of yesterday's post on the death of his brother. Mary Wight Healy was born on 10 Aug 1822. She married Abiel Graham Richardson in 1843 or thereabouts. They apparently had two children, Clarence, who shows up in the census records and Carona H Richardson, born in the 1850's of whom I have so far found out little so don't know how long she lived. Abiel Richardson worked as a carpenter and also as a farmer, but his first love was being a minister. He died in 1892 and Mary lived at least until 1900 when she shows up living with her son Clarence, his wife Eva and their three children in the 1900 US Census. I am always a little surprised by Mary's hairline in this photo, but I've always heard that this is what happens when you wear your hair tightly tied back, and apparently it is true!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Musings by Nathaniel Healy on the Death of his Brother Samuel Healy

At the top of this poem is written, "Copy of a letter from Nathaniel Healy to his friends on the death of his brother Samuel"

Haverhill, NH
Sept 18th 1807*

I to the office came this eve
A letter here I do receive
Whose contents causes me to grieve
Though welcome information
My brother’s dead a solemn sound
What words more painful can be found
He’s dead and buried in the ground
Where he must turn to dust
God’s ways are equal he is just
Though he take our relation

Though he was active brave and smart
Death’s haggard arrow pierced his heart
‘Twas far beyond the Surgeon’s art
To give him respiration
Yet though the grave his body binds
And death his active limbs confine
We trust in glory still he shines
Nor does know grief or woe
Or any pain he felt below
How blest his situation

My reason bids me not to weep
Faith says Death’s not an endless sleep
This glorious hope my soul does keep
From bitter lamentation
By Charity I am inclined
To think that he with all mankind
Will be so happy as to find
That reward which was stored
In Heaven’s archives by the Lord
Before the worlds foundation

Let thoughts like these dry up each tear
Our grief assuage our bosoms cheer
He now in Heaven does appear
How blest his situation
We all believe this is the case
And that the time rolls on apace
When we again shall him embrace
There remain free from pain
Nor shall we ever part again
Or know a separation.

My sister Lydia well I know
This is to you a heavy blow
It fills your soul with grief and woe
And sad solemnization
The frailty of our race we see
Not long ago he seemed to be
As healthy and robust as we
Now grim Death takes his breath
And he a lifeless corpse is left
The grave is now his station

Methinks in tears I hear you say
I’ve lost my comfort and my stay
My Partner dear has turned to clay
How sad a dispensation
Where ‘ere my weeping eyes I place
I there behold his empty space
No more on earth I see his face
None can guess my distress
I bid adieu to happiness
Till I again embrace him

Cease my dear sister to lament
Had you a life of hatred spent
This would your sorrow much augment
And be an aggravation
If you to quarrel were inclined
Or if you treated him unkind
A cause for mourning there you’d find
But you know, ‘twas not so
Your heart was ready to bestow
Relief on each occasion

Why should we murmur or complain
That he has left this world of pain
And has gone home with Christ to reign
To reign throughout duration
Though we with tears bedew his urn
We would not wish him to return
From seraphs which adore and burn
Where his mind is refined
Far more than those who are left behind
Of any sect or nation

My parents dear I you address
My soul does feel for your distress
In pangs too poignant to express
On this most sad occasion
Though you in age are called to mourn
The loss of one whom you have borne
Whom death has lately from you torn
Do not grieve but believe
God has a right him to receive
He lends us our relations

Though of a child you are bereft
Which like a limb was from you cleft
Remember you’ve eleven left
In healthful situation
Though you have lost a hopeful son
Yet he of six is only one
Whose labors o’re whose work is done
He is not dead only fled
To Jesus Christ our living head
There to receive Salvation

When Hannah for a son did sigh
Remind her partner’s kind reply
Far better than two sons am I
The nearest of relations
God does you each to other spare
Your woes in union you can bear
Your mutual joys together share
There we find God is kind
We yet have blessings left behind
Suppressing calculation

His character death chose to place
Beyond the reach of foul disgrace
Where slander daren’t show his face
And vice can never enter
From Virtue he on earth could fall
The sphere he moved in was too small
His maker him vouchsafes to call
To that good where his soul
Did aim as magnet to the pole
Or matter to the center

My brothers and my sisters all
This is to us a solemn call
‘Mongst old and gray, great and small
Death spreadeth devastation
We to the level must be brought
The plumb must try each act and thought
How diligently then we ought
To prepare since we are
To come to that all trying square
Which knows no deviation

May wisdom from the East direct
The West to strengthen and protect
May Beauty cover each defect
By speedy reformation
That when the Angel’s trump shall sound
To call the dead from underground
We may be tried and worthy found
To be blessed with the rest
Which Paul in Beauty has expressed
Unto the Hebrew nation

Nathaniel Healy

*Most geneologies have Samuel listed as having died on September 30th of that year. So I do not know whether the person who copied this (which I believe was Evalina Richardson Thompson from the handwriting) wrote the wrong month or if he died rather the end of August instead of September. I haven't seen documentation for date yet but will attempt to ascertain that in the future. This Nathaniel Healy was born July 10, 1785, married Jane Tabor a few months after this was written, and died on 19 Feb 1841. Samuel was born 11 June 1783 and so was two years older than Nathaniel. Samuel's wife in various family histories is reported as Lydia Barker and this poem confirms that his wife's name was Lydia. It also confirms the number of children of their parents, John Healy and Mary Wight. They actually had a total of 13 children, but one, a girl, Katherine, had died nine years earlier in 1789 at 34 years of age.