The Birds of America

Prompt # 6: Look around for 2-3 items that pique your interest. It can be something old, passed down in your family, or something brand new, like a pair of shoes, an ipad, or even a stray dog you just adopted. Imagine where it came from, whose hands touched it, stitched its soles, soldered its circuits in a Chinese factory, or perhaps there is boy missing his lost pup (I’ve got a lump in my throat over that one already!). Take time to describe each item paying particular attention to details can help you find it’s hidden story!  From these beginnings, you never know where your story may end up! ~Marianne Malone

The Birds of America by John James Audubon is a special book.  Not only is it a book of information about various species of birds throughout the continent of North America, it depicts beautiful water color paintings of the birds along with botanical foliage.  And what is most meaningful to me is, the book belonged to my Father, Alden Edward Erickson, [DOB August 7, 1925 Village of Long Prairie, Todd County, MN; DOD October 22, 1988  Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, MN].  

The few memories I have of my father are simple and sweet.  Wish I had a memory of my Father enjoying this, now worn and faded, hard cover, book.  The book, is a thick volume with many pages, portrays 435 birds and includes information on the range, habitat, identification, voice, breeding and food for each. I find it interesting to note, inside the front cover, my father used a fountain pen to scribe the ownership of the book.  All printed, uniform, capital letters were used many years ago to write:  ALDEN E. ERICKSON BOX 104 LONG PRAIRIE, MINNESOTA.  So for now, I will slowly turn the many pages with care and wonder . . . What was Father’s favorite bird?  Was it the red breasted robin or maybe a common loon?

My Aunt Lila, eighty-eight years young, recently passed this keepsake treasure on to me.  How thoughtful of her to store this book for me over the years.  I will cherish this book, just as I do, all books.

“Identification, in natural history, is only the beginning of wisdom.” John James Audubon



About Prairie Garden Girl

I am a wife who is adored by my Sweet Perry. Together we are parents to five boys and grandparents to seven unique grands. Pa Perry and Oma Sue love instilling the love of learning in the hearts of Johannah, Joshua & Jaxon; Henry & Charlotte and Lily & Lane. I am a reader. I am an aspiring children's picture book writer. I am a creator who sews and paints with acrylics and watercolors and sketches with colored pencil. I am an educator to hundreds of students, throughout the years. I am a cyclist on a pink Marin Portofina, and a 5K jogger. Perry and I are organic gardeners and enjoy homesteading on the Illinois prairie. Life is a beautiful ride with my Sweet P. Together, Perry and I feel life is a journey filled with joy. We want to live our lives by leaving the world a better place.
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