Feeding The Birds

The regular ritual of feeding the birds inspired this latest set of pictures.

Sketch of The Birds Feeding
Sketch of The Birds Feeding

Several years ago we raised guinea fowls from eggs found in the Lucerne lands, and rescued them before the tractor went over their nests. We set them under broody hens, which successfully reared the large clutches of young guineas. When they grew up, they re-joined the wild flocks that live around here. But they always return when they get hungry, and many of the other weavers, sparrows and doves have enthusiastically taken to the daily feeding and arrive in large numbers to mingle with the guinea fowl.

Three Guinea Fowl arriving for feeding time
Three Guinea Fowl arriving for feeding time

A quote from the Evangelical priest and scholar John Stott who wrote a sermon series called; “The Birds our Teachers”.

“Jesus himself referred to birds in his famous Sermon on the Mount. According to the old English version he said ‘consider the fowls of the air’, but in basic English this is a command to ‘watch birds’. When Martin Luther, the great 16th century reformer, got to this verse in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, he became quite lyrical. He wrote: ‘Let the little birds be your theologians … We have as many teachers and preachers as there are little birds in the air’. So I’ve sometimes said in rather jocular fashion that I’m developing a new science called ‘orni-theology’, – the theology of birds.”

Feeding the Birds (50x70cms)
'Feeding The Birds', (50 x 70 cms)Watercolour on Saunders Waterford.

Overheard In An Orchard

One Guinea at feeding time
Single Guinea waiting for the seed

Said the Robin to the Sparrow
“I would really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin
“Friend I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”

–Elizabeth Chaney – 1859





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2 responses to “Feeding The Birds”

  1. Carin Dusse Avatar
    Carin Dusse

    Hello, we met Charles here in Edinburgh (we were in the same church) and through his posts on Facebook I discovered your website. I absolutely love your paintings. They are so so beautiful. I grew up in the Orange Freestate (Reitz and Clarens( and later my parents moved to Edinburg. There were always tarentale on our farms and I used to hold my daughter on my lap when she was a toddler and we would listen to the tarentale going to sleep in the trees. Your paitntings evoke sweet memories in me. The photo of you with the sheep are also precious. I used to raise many lambs by hand on the farm. I just feel like crying … all your paintings speaks to a part of me that is buried away under the dust and iron and glass of city life.

    Do you sell any of your paintings? I would really be intersted in buying a painting of the tarentale.

    I would be back to visit you again.


  2. Barbara Avatar

    Thanks Carin, yes they are for sale, the painting with guinea fowl and small birds is a big picture ( 500 x 700 mm) while the other 3 are 280 x 380 mm.
    I can understand your feelings of nostalgia. You can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl :) I cant imagine living anywhere else, but then, change is the only certainty in life, so one goes with the Lord wherever it may be.

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