Ogden Nash on Birding

August 29, 2008

Shyamal sent me this gem, which I had not read before….

UP FROM THE EGG: THE CONFESSIONS OF A NUTHATCH AVOIDER by Ogden Nash (from You Can’t Get There from Here 1957 pp.115-6) Bird watchers top my honors list. I aimed to be one, but I missed. Since I’m both myopic and astigmatic, My aim turned out to be erratic, And I, bespectacled and binocular, Exposed myself to comment jocular. We don’t need too much birdlore, do we, To tell a flamingo from a towhee; Yet I cannot, and never will, Unless the silly birds stand still. And there’s no enlightenment in a tour Of ornithological literature. Is yon strange creature a common chickadee, Or a migrant alouette from Picardy? You can rush to consult your Nature guide And inspect the gallery inside, But a bird in the open never looks Like its picture in the birdie books- Or if it once did, it has changed its plumage, And plunges you back into ignorant gloomage. That is why I sit here growing old by inches, Watching a clock instead of finches, But I sometimes visualize in my gin The Audubon that I audubin.

Here are MY thoughts:

No matter how bad I am at some activity There’s someone else who can say so in a manner more witty. I may try to write humorous prose, or verse About my being a bad birder, but by writing better, Nash proves he’s worse! .