Thursday, January 19, 2012

Guest of Honor: Tea With Lady Sapphire--Sharing the Love of Birds by Carl Sams and Jean Stoick

Sweet Child gazed out the window,
Making circle clouds
With her breath.

The morning sun came up,
Gifting them with a crystal white snow globe world.

"We have a mission, Sweet Child," Gram's voice sang out.
"Our feathered friends are expecting us."

The tea is brewing in the cheerful Lenox teapot, and a jolly snowman, his red cap and mittened hands filled with bird treats, is waiting just outside the frosty window in the snowy yard. All that is lacking are the guests of honor, including Lady Sapphire, the rare pileated woodpecker.

As the child and grandmother wait expectantly, chickadees and nuthatches, a titmouse and a goldfinch, drop in for a snack, chased away eventually by the more riotous partygoers, the cardinals and blue jays, followed by the party's heavyweight guests, juncos, doves, and even wild turkeys, who partake of the feast and move on, but still the two wait at the window. Will Lady Sapphire and her consort, Mr. Succotash, honor their tea party with their presence?

Jean Stoick's and Carl R. Sams' newest snowtime saga, Tea with Lady Sapphire: Sharing the Love of Birds (Carl R. Sams Photography, 2011) provides a cozy introduction to wintertime birdwatching with no numb toes and red noses, providing sightings of some of the woodlands winter denizens in closeup view with identifying details in the text. Pair this one with either of the creators' earlier snow stories, First Snow in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy, Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy: Snowflake Edition, or for a lovely introduction of the subject of wintertime habitat adaptation, Lost In The Woods: A Photographic Fantasy for an appreciation of the world of winter woods.

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