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Elizabeth Clarkson’s Journals

1933

Elizabeth Clarkson started her journals on gardening and birds on February 6, 1933, when she was 28 years old. Ten of her journals were discovered by Mildred Harris and Wanny Hogewood, tucked away in a bedroom drawer.

 

Discover the gardens from her journals — a rare gift!

 

 

Wednesday, March 29, 1933

 

The Wrens came back late this afternoon and went into the place where they were building and I hope they will continue. The Bluebirds must be laying now as she goes in and stays quite a while and then they go off together. I spread fertilizer (8-4-4) over the front yard and around the shrubbery today and then wet it down. I also fertilized the roses. Most of them I used Vigaro on but when that ran out I used 8-4-4 for the last few. I finished planting tuberoses today and also the Narcissus bulbs...

 

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Sunday, March 12, 1933

 

My birthday! Twenty ninth! It has been such a happy one in spite of being in bed. Eddie sent me lovely flowers, Talisman roses, orangy/pink snapdragons, Gerbera, Stock, and fern. He gave me “House Beautiful” for three years, half a dozen lovely green custard cups like the ones I have, and a perfectly marvelous 3 ¾ gallon compressed air sprayer for my garden. All were things I’d rather have than anything else. I have seen few birds from my window but I saw an exquisite golden crowned Kinglet in...

 

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Saturday, February 25, 1933

 

We had a tragedy among our birds today. A beautiful bob white flew up from the back of our lot and in the high wind he flew full force into the side of the house. He died in my hands and it nearly broke my heart. I gave him a few drops of water but I knew at the time that it was useless. The blow had been too great. I cried over him as though he had been a loved pet. He was such a lovely thing to die. The robins, cardinals, flicker, mockingbird, myrtle warblers, cedar waxwings, song sparrows,...

 

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Saturday, February 18, 1933

 

This morning I heard a Flicker singing loudly from the top of my telephone pole and in a few minutes three other Flickers gathered. The males were courting a female and it was the most amusing sight. The males spread their tails and boxed first in one direction and then in another before the popular lady and the made the funniest, softest little noise that sounded like they were saying “talky, talky, talky, talky, talky, talky” rather fast and over and over. I watched them thru my field glasses...

 

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Tuesday, February 14, 1933

 

Eddie brought me red roses and six tea cups and saucers and a Valentine for my Valentine’s today. This has been a happy day in spite of the fact that I have not been up yet. I identified the little sparrows that come almost every day to the lawn to feed. They are field sparrows and it gives me such a thrill to know them. I have also seen the cardinals, mockingbird, robin, juncos, white throated sparrows, myrtle warblers from my window. Another happy discovery was the song of the Towhee. I only...

 

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Monday, February 13, 1933

 

The doctor has put me to bed again for a few days but I can still see a few birds when I look out the windows. I have seen the cardinals, juncos, white throated sparrows, myrtle warblers and the robin and have heard the mockingbird fussing in the Ligustrum under my window. Some other bird was evidently being “given notice” to leave his berries alone. I’m afraid the berries on my Ligustrums will not last until spring as he consumes so many a day that the bushes are about stripped. I think I shall...

 

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Friday, February 11, 1933

 

He really is a “terrible tempered Mr. Bong.”Saturday, February 11, 1933 After the sleet and rain yesterday afternoon the temperature dropped and the rain froze as it fell so we looked out on a glistening world this morning. It was beautiful but everything was covered with such a heavy coat of ice that the birds could get nothing to eat until it began to thaw about noon. I went out before breakfast and put warm water in both of the bird baths and broke the film of ice on the big pool. Then poured hot water over all the suet to get the coating of ice off. I also put...

 

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Thursday, February 10, 1933

 

It has been very cold again today with a low reading of 21 this morning at seven and high reading of 31 at three this afternoon. It has been sleeting most of the afternoon and evening and the ground is covered. So, of course, there have been worlds of birds in the garden to feed and drink.

 

There were six cardinals off and on all day and the females would chase each other, then the males would chase each other, then the males would chase the females. It seems very early for them to start their...

 

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Thursday,February 9, 1933

 

I have been in bed today again, but it is not such a bad place to be when the temperature has been below freezing all day. The low reading for today was 12 degrees above zero this morning at eight. That is the lowest temperature for Charlotte since January 2, 1928. Today I saw a Mocking bird eating suet in the little maple tree beneath my window. He had just been eating the Ligustrum berries and I suppose he wanted a change of diet. I had never heard that a Mockingbird would eat suet. I saw a...

 

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Wednesday, February 8, 1933

 

I have been in bed today but the few times I went to the window I saw the Cardinals, a Robin, a Carolina Wren, Myrtle Warblers, White Throated Sparrows and two Cedar Waxwings. The Waxwings were eating berries from the privet hedge. I’m so delighted to have something that the fruit eating birds can eat of this time of year. The pair of Robins came earlier in January and immediately after their arrival they started up their yearly feud with the Mockingbird and I have not seen the female since that...

 

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