The Happy Hours

The Happy Hours

In my garden are many birds,
some with pretty looks.
Alas, so many of my birds
are never found in birding books.

Here’s the Oinky Boing-Boing Bird,
a veritable sign of spring.
When he appears, get out the spade:
it’s time for gardening.

His legs are yellow, his face is blue,
but he’ll bring good luck to you.


When Mrs. Flowerhat comes along
the neighbors greet her with a song.
They cluster on branches in the tree
and chat together merrily.

No matter whether it’s rain or sun,
they tell tall tales about everyone.


Occasionally, it looks like rain
and then the birds don’t fly.
They vanish or they hang around
with a tear drop in their eye.


The sundial sleeps in the falling rain
and I find it really funny:
he only wants to tell the time
when the world is bright and sunny.

Horas non numero nisi serenas.
I count only the happy hours.

13 thoughts on “The Happy Hours

  1. These poem/pics are delightful, Roger, and isn’t a blog a good place to present both words and image? As are birds delightful, that i am observing up close and beautiful, around my (relatively) newly installed bird-feeder. Early stage for me, back-yard birder, thrilled every time i notice the smallest dot of a detail from my book. (Oh, by the way, any suggestion as to what is a good bird book, even if it does not contain info on the Oinky Boing-Boing?) –@

    Liked by 1 person

    • I use the Audobon Guides, Roger Burrows (Eastern Canada), Sibley (some excellent guides on birds and habitat etc), Peterson, and the Smithsonian. In addition, we have some specialist guides on shorebirds, raptors, and local back-garden birds (Freddy).


  2. No Jabberwocks in my garden, nor Jub-jub birds: I’ve only got Oinky Boing-Boings: and they’re bad enough — keep you awake all night, they do, going oinky boing-boing, like rusty bed springs in the hotel room next to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very cute! One of my birds also says ‘Oink’ – I actually think it’s a nuthatch. I have very yellow goldfinches and a white-throated sparrow today. I share a very early poem, also feeder-inspired. Jane

    my winter orchard

    cold, so cold

    autumn harvest far away

    the feeder fills

    sunflower seeds

    spill down

    covering snow-crusted ground

    out in the orchard

    under my apple tree

    Inside I wait

    a chirping rings

    evening grosbeaks

    dropping down

    branch to branch

    to ground

    lemons in my apple tree

    black chin, red cap

    feathers fluff

    common redpolls

    flutter down

    pecking at the ground

    cherries in my apple tree

    fee-bee chi chi chi

    a nuthatch somersaults

    a chickadee

    hangs upside-down

    darting to the ground

    nuts in my apple tree

    March 16, 1992

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nice poem, Jane. We haven’t seen evening grosbeaks for a long time. There used to be great flocks of them. Pine grosbeaks too. What we do have is the rose-breasted — two of them nest here every year. Redpolls, yes; cowbirds; American Goldfinches; Yellow-bellied sapsuckers; all three woodpeckers; chicadees; blue jays; used to have grey jays nesting close, but haven’t seen them for a bit — nor the Eastern Phoebe … then those wonderful hawks visit us occasionally and all falls silent …

      Liked by 1 person

      • This winter I came home one afternoon and surprised a grey jay on the top of the feeder. When I was writing my thesis, they used to come inside and eat bread crumbs from my desk (we were building our house and sides were not yet closed in!)

        Liked by 2 people

  4. No jubjub bird? No frumious bandersnatch?

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”
    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought —
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.
    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!
    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.
    “And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    He chortled in his joy.

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Liked by 2 people

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