Celery Farm Praise

Words of Praise

The Celery Farm

by John Workman

The Celery Farm is one hundred and seven acres small. It doesn't get the thumping, eye-popping natural spectacles seen on the coast, or in the high mountains, or out on the plains of other nature preserves.

You won't see Snow Geese by the thousands here, or sandpipers by the tens of thousands. No bison or caribou blacken "The Farm's" open spaces. Unless you have a big imagination.

But you might (like Stiles and Charley) see a Peregrine Falcon swoop in and take a Green-winged Teal on the wing. Right in front of you. Only a few yards away.

Or you might (like Judy) be lucky enough to see scores of Common Nighthawks whipping silently and suddenly through the fall marsh air.

You might (like my son) see your first-ever American Bittern, surrounded by this species' symbiotic partners: the photographers.

Or watch a Woodcock launch into his evening courtship flight, a high spiral which concludes with a free-fall landing. (Many courtship attempts, successful and not, end that way.)

You might also find out what Dodder is, how Mugwort or Spicebush smells, or what Poison Ivy can do to the careless and uninformed.

You will in fact see small wonders, like Jewelweed or Marsh Pennywort. And perhaps you'll even DO wonders -- like walking on the water after six days of January's bone-snapping cold, and watch (directly beneath your boots) a large snapping turtle swim slowly, in the barely still-liquid solvent.

In the spring, you can easily observe warblers of blue, green, and yellow. And maybe even happen upon an orange carp as it performs a splashing, labored lift-off from the lake, then turns its head straight into the wind, and flies up, up, and over the tree-line - all while carrying an Osprey on its back.

All this is possible to see at the Celery Farm. And will continue to be seen there -- within a mere one hundred and seven small acres - thanks to Lillian and Stiles. Who were involved and committed, and who inspired so many of their friends and neighbors to join them.

The Featherman

by Jane White

Renowned for his wit and his wiles.
Whether whiskered or spurred,
With his zeal and his charm he beguiles.

He's blessed with an excellent spouse
Who's thrilled to discover a grouse
Or a woodcock or coot.
She will give him the boot
To make sure he gets out of the house.

Though breakfast to hunt for a snipe
Was early, there wasn't a gripe
For we all saw a quail,
An unusual rail
And the quarry whose head has a stripe.

He started his list with a loon,
Will pick up more species in June.
He's as keen as a hawk.
He's well known at The Auk.
He'll continue to shoot for the moon.

We're gathered Stiles' praises to sing.
From mountains to meadows they ring.
Like a shrike or an owl
We will screech, we will howl
As of birding we crown him the king.