Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Day for the Birds?

Here is a Valentine's Day myth I was not familiar with but which I find amusing. Michael Sims writes about today in Darwin's Orchestra:

The natural history of Valentine's Day can be found fossilized in literature. For centuries, it was an accepted fact of nature that birds chose their mates on February 14. Chaucer assumed it in The Parlement of Foules

"For this was Seynt Valentyne's day, 
When every foul cometh ther to chose his mate."

Shakespeare and poets Robert Herrick and John Donne also wrote about the romance of birds on Valentine's Day. I don't think their spelling was any better.

(At first, I misread mates as names and thought it was so sweet that birds chose their names on this day. I was a bit confused as to what that had to do with romance and then I discovered my error.) 

No matter if you are choosing a name or a mate, enjoy your day and be sure to eat plenty of chocolate. 

Also, today marks the half-way point of my Month in Letters and I am sending off in the mail my fourteenth handwritten note. I find that part of the fun of mailing letters to friends and family is the anticipation of their surprise and one would hope, joy, upon receipt of my missive. 


  1. Hope you have gotten some notes/letters in return.

    1. I have gotten a phone call or two thanking me for the thought, but no written responses. I will be interested to see if anyone does write back. I'll keep you posted.