Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Feathered Dreams - Celebrating Birds in Poems, Stories and Images

It’s not every day you encounter a poem about an Archaeopteryx! This is just one surprise in this endearing volume from Janet Ruth, a PhD ornithologist whose unique perspective will touch birders’ souls. Who else, aside from a birder, would highlight in a poem the color bands of a Grasshopper Sparrow that is the subject of a research project?

Ruth’s science training and a lifetime devoted to bird and habitat conservation illuminate her poems and stories, as in the subtle plumage changes she documents in the brood of Western Screech Owls nesting in the nest box by their deck and the distinctive odor of their regurgitated pellets. Only from an ornithologist!

I’m not a poem-guy, but I was hooked after the opening piece in which Ruth, at her mother’s bedside, seeks to balance the celebration of her parent’s life with the grieving of her passing, while whirlwinds of Chimney Swifts spiral to their nocturnal roosts. In Feathered Dreams Ruth successfully balances the beauty and mystery of birds and the intrigue of their study. It’s well worth the read.

Oh, Archaeopteryx,

Not a frozen, fossilized image

impressed into the sedimentary stronghold,

but the wonder of a living, evolving, being that

seized the wind with feathered wings,

grasped the slippery prey of the past in toothy jaws,

and clawed its way through time and space –

beyond extinction.

For more information, contact the publisher at Mercury Heartlink,