Sanity Break: Old-Fashioned Natural History

The Golden Treasury of Natural History by Bertha Morris Parker: Very Good  Hardcover w/ Jacket (1952) | JDBFamily

One of the glories of my childhood was The Golden Treasury of National History by Bertha Morris Parker, copyright 1952. That painting of the plesiosaur (above) is one of my all-time favorite pictures. Hours and hours and hours I spent in that book! And it left me with a lifelong fascination for animals past and present.

Patty got me a used copy for my birthday last year, and I resort to it sometimes when I’m feeling stressed, tired, or just hung out to dry. I did that today.

Okay, a lot of the science in the book–especially with regard to life in the distant prehistoric past–is hooey. Even as our science today will be tomorrow’s hooey. I don’t blame Bertha Morris Parker, whose work I admire very much. She had to go with the science that she had. But really, I doubt the giant ground sloths went extinct because they never found a comfortable place to rest their claws. Or that dinosaurs vanished because they just didn’t have enough sense to adapt to changing conditions. It was 1952 settled science.

What I love here is the vastness and the intricacy of God’s creation, the enduring mysteries of life on earth, and the overwhelming “Wow!” factor I find in giant prehistoric animals. And happy childhood memories are a plus–my Uncle Bernie reading to me from the book and having the devil’s own time trying to pronounce the dinosaurs’ name: and me not correcting him because I loved him and knew that he was reading to me because he loved his brother’s children.

And now I’m getting a little teary-eyed, so I guess I’d better stop.

Birds No Bigger than Bugs

Baby Hummingbirds: Tiny and Cute | Baby Animal Zoo

I’ve never in my life seen a real, live hummingbird–let alone a baby hummingbird. Look how tiny it is!

It’s a beautiful spring day today, sunny and cool. As I sat outside with my cigar, leafing through The Golden Treasury of Natural History, it occurred to me that I had no idea what a baby hummingbird would look like. I soon found plenty of pictures on the Internet.

As Samuel F. B. Morse once said, “What hath God wrought!” No one has ever seen it all; a lifetime of study wouldn’t suffice.

We have more than a lifetime’s worth of Creation to enjoy.

A Good Day, After All

The Golden Treasury of Natural History by Bertha Morris Parker ...

I’m running late today, but I’ve just got to tell you–we have alcohol! Calloo, callay, O frabjous day! Our neighbor, Josh, gave us a bottle. I love you, man!

And then my birthday present showed up a week early–The Golden Treasury of Natural History, by Bertha Morris Parker. O, wonderful!

This was my favorite book, as a boy. As I was very young, I loved some of its pictures so much (especially the dinosaurs) that I cut them out of the book for use as toys. *Sigh* I won’t do that again! I’ve just spent a whole hour going through it, page by page, to revisit all those pictures that I loved so much and remember so well. Ah, that glorious illustration of the plesiosaur (see above)! Long live Bertha Morris Parker–she ignited my mind.

And now I’ve got to put away the computer so we can watch a nice relaxing mystery or horror movie.