Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feather Your Nest

Bird's nest cookies simple enough for a four year old to create

Dear Friends,

Spring, birdsong, nest building, hidden eggs, and the magic of newborn birds. How could anyone not love this time of year?

A real bird's nest, which is NOT simple in any way!

To celebrate the season, we make simple bird's nests for our special family gatherings. These nests are easy enough for a four year old (with grown-up help) to make. They're featured in the cooking section of my book Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars

If you're like me, you do not feed your children much sugar, but I believe that "everything in moderation" is a good adage. Sometimes the forbidden becomes the desired. So, remember moderation and have fun making these sweet little nests.

Sometimes (it depends on the children) I add a bit of toasted coconut to the freshly formed nests. The coconut looks very twiggy and natural.

By necessity, this is a short, short posting. A big schedule crunch has me on the run, but I think things will return to normal by next week.

I'm happy to announce a series of winners of the give-aways I posted last week. The winner of the Gardener's Supply kneeler is: Dee Nash, Red Dirt Ramblings.

The five winners of the Peaceful Valley Farm Supply tins of seeds are: Jeri Landers (Hopalong Hollow Gazette), Martha Ellen (Anonymous), Donna Conghaile (Conghaile Cottage), Clarice (Storybook Woods), and (Bees, Birds, Berrries and Blooms). Winners, send us your mailing addresses. Please.

Last week, I received a FABULOUS book, The Birding Life-A Passion for Birds at Home and Afield from Clarkson Potter (this is a colorful, coffee table sized book). I literally lost myself in the glorious pages, which are filled with history, decorating, and the homes and studios of great bird artists like Audubon, Charley Harper, Kenn Kaufman, David Sibley, Julie Zickefoose, and others. I loved the profiles of irreplaceable ornithologists, such as Stephen Kress, who reestablished the puffins on Egg Island in Maine, and the personal collections of antique and contemporary carved birds featured in the homes of passionate and dedicated bird lovers. You will want to feather your nest after reading this book!

One of the treats in this book was seeing photos of Hog Island, Maine, which is where you can go to an old-fashioned camp to learn about the magical and amazing lives of birds. Years ago, I received a scholarship to Hog Island Ornithology Camp from the Audubon Society. Jeff and I spent a week studying birds outdoors, catching and banding them, and studying specimens in the lab and on the land and sea. 

If you're a bird lover, you will treasure this book. If you're just beginning to appreciate birds, well, this book could send you into the stratosphere. TO WIN THIS BOOK, simply leave a short comment on my blog about what birds mean to you and how they enrich your life. The winner be chosen next week by a random drawing. I feel so happy to pass this on to YOU.

All joys,



Karin / Southern Meadows said...

I will have to try those adorable birds nests with my kids! We love bird watching and take so much joy in observing their antics in our backyard especially in spring. We have bluebirds nesting for the first time and are thrilled! Now if we can get an owl to take up residence we would be over the moon!

Unknown said...

I made edible bird's nests too, not out of krispies though. Mine is one post back. I would love to win the bird book for my husband. He checks the feeders and the baths everyday and lets everyone know when he thinks he has spotted a 'new' visitor to our gardens.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Congrats once again to all of your winners.

Those little birds nests are cute and look fun to make.

I love birds for the songs they sing, for their carefree life. They take each day as it comes and their songs make my heart and soul soar. The other morning in the wee hours, I got up to check something, and when I listened at the back door, I heard a chuck-wills-widow, a bird I'd not heard in ages. It is always a joy to hear and see a hummingbird. And I hope to one day get some pictures. The mockingbirds tunes are never the same. I love to hear birds chittering to each other, love to see them sitting in the trees, on power lines all in a row or flying in the skies. Even vultures are amazing in their ugliness. Pelicans are fun to watch as they swoop down for a bit of food that they see in the water. For years on my drive home from work I've seen a lone kingfishes sitting on the lines over a canal and occasionally I've seen him with a little fish in his mouth. I call him My Kingfisher. Birds are a wonderful creation.

Have a great week Sharon.


Cristy said...

Birds make my children and me so happy. Birds are especially important to my two girls, and I guess, that for me that is the best part of studying birds.

I love the Blue Heron as it flies--its long legs stretched out behind it. I love the swallow tail kite as it soars and swoops. It thrills my heart to see them.

Primitive Stars said...

Hi Sharron,oh love the eatable birdy nests,so sweet. I enjoy watching the bird life so much,who needs t.v, when the birds are around. Would very much to own that book,beautiful, would look great on my coffee table,tee hee. Thanks Francine.

Low Tide High Style said...

Those nests sound yummy, and congratulations to all of the winners. I will look for that book for my in-laws, I know they would love it.

It's funny, I did a post a little while back about how I knew I was officially "old" because I now love watching and photographing birds. It was tongue in cheek of course, but the truth is that I do love watching the birds now and maybe I always did but never really lived in a place as beautiful or as abundantly full of so many species until I moved here. Whatever the reason, I'm happy I have a new found love of birds!

Enjoy your week!


Vee said...

Well I do love birds, you must come see my adorable chickadee. I'm calling him "mine" because he's hanging about all the time...I do believe I could get him to take a bit of peanut butter or some seeds from my hand, but I do not believe in taming wild birds.

I so appreciate what you said about the forbidden becoming the desired. Very true so moderation in all things is a good philosophy. Those nests are wonderful!

Sandy Schaefer said...

Hi Sharon.
I love birds for their beauty and their song. I love watching the bigger birds soar in the sky, gliding along in the wind. I love how they are constantly seeking food, or so it seems. Always keeping a sharp eye....I love their nests, works of art! And their beautiful little eggs!
( Robin's egg blue )
Only God could create a bird.
Have a beautiful, blessed day.

Little Bird said...

Dear Sharon,
I can always count on you to alert us to great new resources! Because of your posts, we enjoy many-a-new book, seed company, plant purveyor...on & on! Thanks! Oh! The birds! How their sweet song and exciting flights in & out of our trees tickle us! We receive immense joy as we check out the visitors to our feeders - especially those hanging just outside our kitchen window. As we wash dishes or fill our coffee cups, we often get a happy surprise at the feeders!

Susan said...

I made bird nests too for my grands, but I bet they would have loved the Krispie ones. I thought it was a good way to introduce them to the lovely wildlife we share this planet with and of course to symbolize the rebirth with Spring.
I'm wishing I was on Hog's Island--it would be a treat to bird watch and learn more. Love you, Susan

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

My goodnesss--it's been so long since I've visited your lovely blog that I didn't know you had a new header. I love the photo of those birdsnest cookies and now I'm craving them!


Pat said...

Dear Sharon - living by the pond has brought a whole new experience of birding...this Spring we are watching the 5th generation of returning geese as they nest on the little island; all kinds of ducks, hawks and even an eagle have become a constant source of wonderment. Closer to the house, we watch bluebirds, cedar waxwings and Baltimore orioles. Our resident hummers keep us busy in the kitchen preparing their favorite beverage. Enriched we are!

Pondside said...

About 13 years ago the province sprayed the entire south island in an effort to get rid of the Gypsy Moth. It was a horrible day - everyone had to stay inside with windows closed. The result was the end of the Gypsy Moth infestation, but the terrible, unexpected result was that the birds left. The butterflies disappeared too. There was never anything in the news about this, but everywhere people commented on the lack of birds and how much they missed the normal summer flutter.
The birds are, thankfully, back. I love to sit by the ponds, tilt my head back and watch the swallows swoop overhead. They mean summer to me!

Blondie's Journal said...

The bird's nest cookies are darling and delicious looking! Congratulations to all the winners!

I wish I knew my birds! I see so many different ones at the lake and my neighbor is very well versed on what is what!

A little thing people may not know about me, but I spent about ten years raising cockatiels and parrots. Watching them hatch and then hand feeding them until they bonded with humans and could fend for themselves. It was a wonderful, if not a little messy experience for my kids. At times we had as many as 15 birds and no, I do not have an aviary!

Wishing you a wonderful week, Sharon!


Anonymous said...

Goldfinches are the birds I remember since my childhood and I always have a feeder to keep them coming today. Also our state bird :-)! Nanc Nielsen

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Love reading your birdy comments.

I'm with you on that Nanc, we practically bankrupt ourselves buying black nyjer seed. It has helped to install a tray under the tube feeder. Now the White-crowned Sparrows, finches, AND goldfinches feed side-by-side.


Julie Marie said...

Good morning Sharon... I too love Spring and birds and nests and all that Nature has to offer... those little nest cookies are just adorable!... I want to make some now... that books sounds just fabulous!... please enter me in your generous giveaway... I love ALL of God's precious little creatures, and birds mean so very much to me, as they make me feel closer to Him... my sister has a beautiful Native American shop and I have learned from her that the Eagle is the most powerful messenger to the Divine... I often send messages with our Bald Eagles that spend the winter here in Utah to thank Him for all of their beauty... birds, like everything else in Nature, are so much smarter than most people think... I love to watch them and enjoy their antics... our yard is a designated wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation... I cannot imagine my life without the many birds that visit... well, so much for a small comment... I could go on all day long about how much they mean to me... I just posted this morning about a "baby shower" for birds that I will be attending!... xoxo Julie Marie

Lorrie said...

I know that spring is truly here when I awaken in the morning and hear the twittering of birds outside my window.
When I walk along the bog near our home, I hear the song of the the redwing blackbird and look for him perched on a tall reed of grass, singing and swaying.
Bald eagles on our hikes, swooping swallowtails in the evening, gulls along the beach - birds are so much a part of life.

Love the nests - sweet idea.

Joan S Bolton said...

Those cookies are positively adorable. Yet another reason I'm looking forward (eventually) to grandchildren!

Teri said...

Sharon...despite whether I win the book or not, I wanted to comment on how wonderful it is to see the birds here at our new home in the Foothills. We never had so many birds so close-up at our older home but here, there are everywhere. Our town is a bird sanctuary so possibly that is one explanation. But I am amazed at the blue birds, the finches, everything here! How lucky you were to study birds in Maine! What an opportunity that must have been.

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Thank you SO MUCH Sharon,
I came over to explore your NESTS. I "LOVE,LOVE,LOVE everything from nature AND our feathered friends. AND I see "I'm a winner"!!! Can you see me Happy Dancing??? Do you need my Mailing address or do you have it???
Thank you Thank you,
Have a wonderful week,
Big Hugs,

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Oh Sharon,
I would LOVE a chance to win the "BOOK"! Birds are such an important part of my life! I KNOW I garden for them and all my critters... I used to feed the birds BEFORE we had "BEARS". So now I reserve feeding to winter and shelter for them as I plan my garden paths!!!
Thank you again,

Comfrey Cottages said...

Oh your recipe is a great fav of the children and I:) I imagine that camp was so relaxing and inspiring. What fun! We have an Illinois bird book, which is very good, and the children and I have fun writing the date we find each bird and where. We have done this since my first grandchild was old enough to identify birds, and each new young one has such fun! I love to watch them and listen to their different songs each morning! xx

Jimmie said...

Dear Sharon,

That book looks scrumptious! Not to mention the cookies. I have your book that contains this recipe, so maybe on Saturday the neighbor's children (ages 4 and 7) and I can make the nests.

There are so many reasons that I love birds, but I'll try to limit them to just a few. 1)I have a pet name for my daughter: "Little Bird" because she was always flitting around like a wee chickadee when she was little. 2) I love how different birds are one from another - crows, blue birds, cardinals, doves, hawks, whipporwills...too many to name and every one is such a delight to listen to and watch. 3)My mother had a pet chicken as a child and I've never tired of hearing her tales of what good friends she and that chicken were. 4) I feel so close to God when I watch the birdies.

Well, I tried to make it short, but I'm still hungry to give you more reasons, but I'll stop now.

Love from Diane in North Carolina

Vicki Boster said...

Sharon- we are kindred spirits- lover of birds--- and all things bird nests! The cookies are adorable!
Such a fun treat to make!!

You know- I'm totally enthralled with beautiful birds. Our yard is a haven for them-- we spend a stupid amount of $$ on feeding them!! I spread clippings from my yarns all over the yard last week- fingers crossed that they end up in beautiful nests.
They fill out life with beauty and song-- they are the most previous part of our summer gardens- they visit and love our yard.

Thanks for always sharing- you are so generous.


Anonymous said...

I am so excited to learn that I have won one of the seed tins. I love gardening! Thank you so much.
Your nests are so cute--I am sure they were enjoyed.
I am also a lover of all nature and enjoy feeding and watching the antics of the birds in our garden.
Martha Ellen

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Martha Ellen dear,

Please send us your mailing address, which we will send to Peaceful Valley. They will send you the tin.


Lori ann said...

dear sharon, i hope you'll be able to catch your breath soon! i love the birds nest cookies, and will have to make them soon.
that book has been on my wish list since i first saw it. of all places, it was in a small shop in morrow bay. i have to save for our trip, so i was a good girl and didn't buy it. you know how much i love birds. i can't say how they enrich my life, but they have an influence on my art, photograpy, reading, writing. and once i knit a birds nest with eggs!

p.s. have you seen the big year? i think you would love it, it's a true story and a lovely movie.

Lori from Indiana said...

Birds fill my yard (and life) with color, beauty and song! Each season they are a harbinger of what is to come. I can't wait to see the first robin of spring and see the goldfinches trade in their grey for yellow ...

a gardener said...

I especially love lying in bed when it is barely dawn and listening to the robins singing. Later we watch the birds at the feeder. Even the mourning dove pair has been making an appearance.

Anonymous said...

Your photos of nature are always so inspiring. You have such a great eye. Your hummers have fledged? Will the mother return? Gorgeous nest! The feather is so sweet. Can't wait to try Nonie Clarke's No-Bake Nests. Thank you for always sharing so much! After you shared your hummer site I tried to share a Red-Tailed Hawk link, but it was rejected. Cornell Univeristy has two webcams on a pair of Red-Tailed Hawks. Their eggs are due to hatch tomorrow. They also have a cam on a gorgeous Blue Heron whose eggs are due to hatch at the end of the month. Happy birding! I will be one of the first to purchase several of your new bird book...can't wait!
Jane in Nevada

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Lori, THANK YOU for the adorable, adorable little birdie, which I just hung from my drafting table lamp. I was lax in picking up my mail and there it was awaiting me. I so love it! Loved your words about the goldfinch putting on the bright feathers.

Hi Jane in Nevada, YES! I'll watch the Red-tailed hawks when I get back from an appointment.

I am very well acquainted with Great Blue Herons. For about ten years I taught groups about them and I studied them intensively in their habitat and rookery. Love them.



Kay G. said...

Dear Sharon,
Birds are wild and free, and yet come down to Earth just for me.
The color and song of each one,
gives me pleasure and fun.
Joyful and happy I would be...
Let the winner be me!!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I was hopping by to say Hello and I'm so glad I did! My hubby and I love to bird watch. We've always had bird feeders and have tried to learn the names of every one we see. Living in Florida gives us the advantage of seeing a lot of migrating flocks, too. But the most fun is when you see a little variation in a bird and notice it coming back to your feeders every day! It becomes a pet then! Hugs!

kj said...

sharon, you're pushing me right into spring. i am channeling to win that book. i would be a good and grateful steward. i'll buy it if somehow the drawing doesn't lean my way (but i'm ever hopeful) :^)

the wrens are gathering and making nests in my backyard birdhouses. the robins are everywhere hip pity hopping in my grass. finally tomorrow the pansies will have their home. this time of year i understand everything. the rhythm of things just holds me up!

love you, sharon. look for me...


Audrey said...

Thank you SO much for that book recommendation! I'll throw my name in the hat for a giveaway. But I can't quite decide if I would keep it for myself or give it to my grandmother. She would absolutely love it. Now I know the perfect birthday present for her. Thanks, Sharon!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

While the Herbal Husband was gone to deepest darkest Peru, I was in charge of the chaos. The birds are used to his whistling that he does very well. Me not so much. I did love though that I cawed for the crows and one came right down and grabbed a peanut as I was standing there. It wasn't afraid of me, but I felt like running! It was fun. xxoo Nancy

Bonnie K said...

I tried to e-mail my address, but no go. It is
Bonnie Fuller
(Birds, Bees, Berries, & Blooms)
11358 Tetro Rock Road
Lead, SD 57754

Suzanne in Sweetwater said...

I, too am a fan of Great Blue Herons. We are also fortunate in our area of West Central Texas to have several Painted Buntings. They are rather rare around here, but we think they like our rural location partly because we do not use herbicides or insecticides. This also enables us to have Texas Horned Lizards (Horny Toads!!), but that's probably another blog!

Sharon, you are most generous to share your Bird Nest Cookie recipe on your blog. Seems like most authors would try to steer readers to buy the book. But we all know that Sharon Lovejoy is head and shoulders above most authors!!

The Painted Garden said...

Hi Sharon,
Thank you for the adorable nest recipe - I am going to try them for my garden tea party in May.
As children our parents taught us that the birds and their songs and chatter were a special gift from God and we learned to love them and care from them. As adults my brother and sister and I have passed our love and care for the birds on to our children and they in turn are passing love and care for our feathered friends on to their children. I would love to have my name put in the drawing for the special bird book.

I am a memeber of the Grimy Hands Girl's Club.
Thank you for the joy and love that you spread through your blog and books.

steph said...

Oh, my--that book looks amazing! Birds, antiques, AND Maine???? Now that is a treasure!!

It's "baby" season here--we've been watching both mama robin (who has a very neat and tidy nest with 3 adorable youngsters already inhabiting it) and mama cardinal (whose nest looks like it might fall apart any minute, but is fotunately tucked in the prickers and thorns of the rose bush and I can't get a good look inside!)

Gayle said...

Birdsong is my preferred wake-up call. They fly off in a tizzy when I walk out the back door with my tea and toast in the morning but, eventually, they get brave come back to the feeder, albeit fussing at me for disturbing their breakfast. It fills my heart with joy and gratitude spending a little time with them before the rush of the day begins.

Cottage and Broome said...

Love bird watching, I saw a pair of cardinals today out in the yard. Thanks for stopping by, Laura

Carol said...

Watching and feeding birds is how I survive the winter! I have nine birdfeeder that I fill.Five of them on my deck. I have hundreds of bird photos.

the REAL girl said...

Oh Sharon...I would just LOVE to receive a copy of this book. I LOVE birds; I probably spend close to what I spend on family food on bird food, feeders, etc.!!!

Love you blog, as always...
Joann in CO

Sandy Schimmel said...

I "caught" the love of birds from my grandparents sitting at their dining room table watching dozens of hummers buzzing the feeders and the Purple Martins flying round the Martin houses in the backyard. For me, bird watching is good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are members of our local Audubon Club and do a lot of birding. We would love to have a copy of this wonderful birding book. We also feed our feathered friends.

Anonymous said...

We've been watching a bluebird pair in the backyard. He's dipping his head into the bird house to give her big fat caterpillars today. There were 5 little eggs in the nest--could there be tiny little cheeps today? Must draw a little closer to check.


Wendy said...

Well, I don't know anything about birds but have been trying to learn. My husband bought me a bird book that is total crap and not helpful! I would like to feed the birds, but Sassy the cat would have a little too much fun with visitors to our yard. I posted on facebook about a birdsong I've been hearing thinking surely someone will tell me what it is, but nothing! it goes "ricki ricki rick" - in a very sweet voice. Anyway, those are my thoughts!

Bonnie K said...

Dear Sharon,
I am hoping you get this comment. Something is wrong and everytime I write it doesn't post, but I see my address posted. I will try again. Thank you for the seeds! I am so excited, because I am taking them to work. My students will love planting them! We just finished planting the squash and pumpkins. Our radishes, lettuce, and spinach is up. It has been so fun seeing these 'tough kids' ages 16-24 excited about planting seeds. Last year we had a salad party and sweet corn from our garden. We also learned to make fried green tomatoes. Then we made a little chart to identify when things are ready to pick:) We have also been making bluebird houses and I taught our English Language Learners about Chickadees. They like saying chickadee. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration.


jerilanders said...

Sharon, this must be my lucky month! WOW! I must make a batch of birds nest cookies to celebrate.
What I have to say about birds can be summed up in 50 words or less:
Whistle, cackle, peep. peep. peep!
Twitter, chatter. twerp and cheep.
Hoot and caw and cock a doodle do!
Honk and quack and chirp and coo.
Chirrup, warble,crow and trill,
Alas, the birds will not be still!
(And doesn't it just make the world a better place!)

suzanne said...

Dear Sharon

Popping over to wish you the most welcomed Spring I am sure. For me that is my best Season . I read a quote somewhere that if we do not experience the bitter cold of Winter, we would never know the true delights of Spring...I can just imagine your busy garden full of buzzing bees and nesting birds.

I hope you are well and happy
Lots of love to you

Jennie Brooks said...

I AM a bird lover. I learned a lot about birds from my dad's side of the family. I have fond memories of sitting on my grandmother's terrace in NC watching the birds at her feeder. In later years I would sit on my parent's back patio with my dad watching their feeder. now that my dad is gone, I id the birds for my mom and have several feeders of my own. they're one of life's little miracles.

Heather said...

Thank you for this lovely post.

So many things to love about birds...

They are a wonderful reminder that our spirits are not tethered to the earth but meant to soar.

Whenever I come across an errant feather, I sense an angel was there.

They say that birds descended from dinosaurs, but to me they are messengers straight from heaven.