The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young*

I know it’s Saturday because it’s raining and blustery. I wonder whether the poor lady cardinal nesting in the spruce outside our living room window feels seasick as the wind buffets her about. I tried to take a photo but she’s so shy that she flies away, even when I approach stealthily. I do love “those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature has furnished them to the shame of art” (Izaak Walton).

Cardinal Grosbeak from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon (1785 – 1851), etched by Robert Havell (1793 – 1878).

I daresay that the hungry baby-bird cries will soon disturb the peace and quiet of my living room. Still, I’m excited about the prospect and fervently hope no predator discovers the nest! I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

If you can’t go bird watching, here are a few tidbits to get you through the rainy weekend. For novel group entertainment, why not try this? For cerebral activity you can do alone, read anything by Algis Valiunas. In particular, I recommend his articles on Edward Gibbon, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Francis Parkman. Food for thought, even if you don’t agree with him.

*Psalm 84:3