Sunday, February 13, 2011

Of Thrush and Adventures

Dear Guest,

I awoke this morning to the sound of male robins proclaiming their territory. The crisp "cheerily, cheeriup, cheerio, cheerily" was a cherished sound, and one not heard in several months. The first birdsong of spring was in the air; winter was loosening her grasp. I yearned to step outside and explore.

My other blog, the Bemused Muse, has long been a dumping ground for my various nature outings. Posts are lost amidst daily life entries, science entries, commentary entries, and entries that perhaps reflect upon previous entries. The Knocking Thrush will be, hopefully, a collection of the small discoveries made when I step away from the complexity of life and allow myself to become lost in the natural wonderment of each season.

The blog name may sound familiar to you if you have read The Hobbit.  "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's day will shine upon the keyhole", or so Thorin’s map indicated. The riddle was forgotten by time the dwarves and Bilbo reached the doorstep. All might have been lost had an old thrush not cracked a snail at just the opportune moment.  

The above text and map was taken from the 50th Anniversary edition of the The Hobbit. The map is attributed to Christopher Tolkien (based on his father's sketch, a facsimile of which is also shown in the anniversary edition).

This same thrush, having overheard Bilbo’s recounting of his initial meeting with Smaug, perched upon Bard’s shoulder and spoke of the dragon’s weak spot. The bird later assisted Thorin by bringing an ancient raven, Ro├Ąc son of Carc, to him. Busy bird.

Thrush are Passeriformes (perching birds) of the suborder Passeri, Family Turdidae.  The Thrush wears the crown for most beautiful in song.  I haven’t any idea what sort of thrush Tolkien envisioned. I don’t think he had the red breast of Turdus migratorius, the American Robin, in mind.

This blog was created in honor of the first Spring thrush-song, and of Tolkien. I hope to add to it once the weather brightens.

Enjoy.

~T. Mininni-Totin