On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, four Calling Birds
For those of us in the Northern hemisphere this month's block is very timely, as we notice our garden birds singing again to attract a mate in readiness for spring nesting.
To discover the identity of our Calling Bird we need to explore older versions of the song. When it was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, the lyrics listed four Colly birds, an old-English term for coal-black birds, or as we know them today, the common Blackbird. Although there's nothing common about this lovely little bird.
Both colly and calling are equally fitting descriptions, as young males will start singing in late January and are described by ornithologists as 'singing to themselves' in the winter months (apparently practising). In my own garden they lead the dawn chorus and are still singing as dusk falls, so I heartily agree with poet William Henley's beautiful lines...
The nightingale has a lyre of gold,
The lark's is a clarion call,
And the blackbird plays but a boxwood flute,
But I love him best of all.
In addition to our melodious Calling Bird you will be making another Gold Ring this month, using the Dusty Red Skyler print and your choice of the two gold prints from previous months. You will also find the first pair in a series of very special treats in this month's parcel...
This month's treat...
Andrea and I have been absolutely bursting to share this secret with you, because this month's treat is the first of our exclusive Christmas Pear ornaments!
I will be sharing ideas for how to use your ornaments over the coming months, so we'll all be very ready indeed for Christmas 2022!