ARTISTS AND  BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"When Grapes are Ripe"

Northern Mockingbirds

Mockingbird        My Mother told me stories her Grandfather told her about when he was a miner at Silver Reef. He told her of the large and delicious melons St. George brought to Silver Reef for sale. It just so happens that his stories were the reason she found my Father of interest, when she met him teaching school in Murray, Utah. He was from St. George, where they grew melons, and thatís how I come to get born here.

        Money was scarce for the early settlers in St. George. The silver strike at Leeds (Silver Reef) gave rise to a farmerís market with customers who had hard cash. One of the best cash crops in St. George was Grapes. Grape wine was most popular with the miners. There was a winery built in Toquerville to produce this commodity. With very little work, grapes turned into wine. A trip to Silver Reef to trade brought back the much needed cash.

        Last night we went out to taste our grapes. There were purple seedless grapes and green seedless grapes. They were perfect. They were so sweet and good that I knew I couldnít get a bellyache. Oh how I love grapes. Honey and I ate several bunches and planned to save the rest for tomorrow and the following days.

        Looking out my window today, I saw four young Mockingbirds flying in and out of our two grapevines. Yes, I like grapes, but I like Mockingbirds even more. Watching the young birds testing their wings, squabbling with each other, competing for the grapes was a great treat for us. There will be more grapes again next year, and hopefully these Mockingbirds will remember to come back to our place for a sweet treat.

        Judith Warren is the artist of the Mockingbird painted with color pencils. If you want to talk about birds, grapes, melons or bird stories call 435 673-0996. For more information go to redcliffsaudubon.org .

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