John James Audubon ~ Tell the Story


This week’s post is in connection to your novel Okay For Now. Please choose one of the plates below from John James Audubon’s Birds of America and tell the story of the plate similar to how Gary Schmidt uses these plates

in each chapter. Look at what you feel is happening in the image and write a descriptive paragraph about it. Be creative and very descriptive. Notice the details!

Please do not borrow any ideas from another classmate!



  1. In the second plate, of the golden-eye duck, it appeares as if the bird on the left has been hurt and needs help. The bird on the right is reaching out a hand to help his friend, but is not sure if he can hold the weight of the left bird. In other words, the right bird wants to help his friend, but is to afraid to get hurt as well. It is just like when someone is not doing very well in life, and his friend wants to help, but does have enough money to cover both of their weight. So he has to let his friend go. The artist shows the sadness in this picture by putting in the gray clouds and the terrified eyes of the birds.

    1. The picture also shows the right bird trying his best to help his friend while the other bird has given up because he knows that it is over.

  2. I think The Meadow Lark, or Meadow starling is like a bird geting mad at another bird, but when the bird was going to punish the other bird the bird decided to fly away before he was punished. Kind of like when someone is plotting something to hurt you and you found out and went away and avoided the conflict.

  3. The second plate with the Golden-Eye Ducks has an interesting story behind it, that could tie in with Ok For Know. It seems like the bird on the left is an innocent bird and doesn’t fit in with the other birds, maybe because he has a white dot under his left eye. The bird on the left saw the other was getting ready to strike and when the attacking bird does attempt to strike the bird on the left, it flies away just in time leaving the perpetrator grabbing with hope to catch him but doesn’t. The bird on the left flies away to either his friend’s place, a hideout where the perpetrator doesn’t like to go, or to his mother.

    In Ok For Know the innocent bird is Doug and the other bird is his brother. The bird that doesn’t fit in, (the one with the white dot) is Doug because he doesn’t really fit into his own family and his brother is the other bird because he is going after Doug. Doug has learned to defend himself and maybe even get away from those fast hands sometimes. He doesn’t have any friends to fly to so far in the book right know, except maybe Lil, but I have a strong feeling that he is going to make some friends throughout the book. His hide out spot would be in the library which his brother probably doesn’t like or will ever go in, but I don’t know. He could go to his mom which would probably protect and defend Doug because she loves him more than anything. I think and I hope that the bird on the left gets away from the other bird.

  4. I would choose the second picture down, and i think the picture is that the bird being kicked is Doug, and the other bird is kicking him, just like him being beat up. The picture also show to me that the bird (Doug) seems to be traveling downwards, maybe because he doesn’t like where he is, just like Doug being in Marysville. It also seems the bird kicking the other bird is laughing.

  5. “The Meadow Lark” drawing by John Audubon is about a family birds learning how to fly. There are four birds in the drawing, a mother, father, and two young baby birds. The father bird is flying and seems to be trying to teach his children how to fly. The mother bird, on the far left, is very protective of the younger birds and wants to make sure that they’re safe. She seems to be warning them to be careful and is protecting her children by making sure that there are no predators around. The baby bird outside of his nest is more adventurous than his brother who’s still inside the nest. The bird on the outside looks like he is about to take off and follow his father. He is ignoring his mother’s warnings and doesn’t think anything could go wrong. I think that something bad might happen to that bird because he isn’t listening. The bird inside of the nest wants to learn how to fly but is more cautious. Maybe he is weaker than his brother and doesn’t feel like he is ready to fly yet. Hopefully the stronger brother bird isn’t a bully like Doug’s brother is in “Okay for Now.”

  6. I would chose the frist one because it seams to me that it is a bird tring to fly and two others one tring it to and then there is another won sitting in the nest scard to try. this really reminds me of the because it is like the father and the two older brothers being mean and then there is Doug trying not to act like that. that is why i would chose the frist one.

  7. There is a lot going on in the first plate “The Meadow Lark, or Meadow Starling.” The painting is showing the birds leaving their nest for the first time. In the picture it is finally spring and the birds are allowed to leave their nest. A few of the birds are not quite sure weather they want to leave the nest or not, but the bird on the right is sure. The bird on the right is the one with its wings spread out and flying away. That bird has been waiting to leave his nest and his family his whole life. Now, it is finally time, so he is not looking back, not hesitating, and following his dreams. The bird in the left of the picture is the one standing up. That bird is not quite ready to leave his nest, so he is looking around before he flies away. It looks like that bird wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps, but wants to fly in the opposite direction. I feel very discouraged for the bird on the ground. That bird wants to be like his brothers and fly away, but he cannot. He is not strong enough yet, and his brothers are teasing him that he can’t do it. If you look closely it looks like the bird is hurt. That is because the bird was trying to fly away, but got injured. The good thing is that soon the bird will fly away on its own and do its own thing. The bird in the nest is the mother bird. She doesn’t want her children to grow up and fly away. She wants them to stay at the nest with her. In the painting the mom is going after the bird in the right of the picture. She wants to at least say goodbye to him before he leaves the nest. The mother doesn’t understand why he wants to fly away from such a beautiful home with yellow flowers. The mother bird is too late to say goodbye. The bird is already eager to reach his destination. Maybe someday the birds will reunite, but for now no one knows.

  8. I am writing about “The Meadow Lark”. I think that the flying bird is going to get food, and the standing one is watching the nest and the baby bird. Another thing I think about involving protection, is how there is no background, and the birds are on a rock, and the nest is very protected by shrubbery. I believe that shows that the birds are scared and paranoid, because it give the impression of isolation. The background also gives off mystery, so we do not know where the flying bird is going, and it does not how us where the birds are, to leave the observer the opportunity to put the birds in the environment of their choice. I think the very detailed and straight lines show that the birds have a clear goal in mind. I also think that the way the two bigger are looking show that they are trying really hard to go about their mission, instead of staying home with the baby bird. As for the baby bird’s eyes, I think that it is looking at the flying bird and wondering why and where it is going. Additionally, I feel as though the way the birds and scenery are drawn is meant to show action. I think the birds really do care for their family, and will do anything to protect it.

  9. The plate I chose is Golden-eye Duck. This plate is very unique. If you look at the plate for a short amount of time, you would just think there are two ducks in awkward positions. When you really examine the plate and the precise details, you will see a world you never thought you would see. To me, it looks like the duck on the top is chasing the duck facing downward. The facial expression on the duck on the top looks angry or sad and full of sorrow. The detail on the wing on the downward duck looks incredible. I think the colors in the background say something about the plate. The sky blue looks happy but the gray color over shadows the happy blue and is giving the plate a sad tone.

  10. This plate is the Golden-eye Duck. To me it looks like the first duck is trying to lead the second one somewhere. The second duck looks scared because of the storm. I think of it that way because his beak is open almost like he is “squawking” and his eye is fearful. His body language is also very tense and stressed. He appears to be flapping wildly, but not moving anywhere. The first one looks more confident and he is trying to sooth the second bird and tell him,”Follow me, I know the way!” The first duck looks like he is diving down toward his destination. I think they were out trying to find food far from their home and the storm rolled in. They’re trying to get back home, but they are lost and one of them is panicking. I think that the title of this plate, tells you where to look to understand the drawing.

  11. The birds appear to be fighting. It looks like the bird flying up is winning because the other bird looks like it’s crashing down to earth. I like how the bird’s wings are black on the top and grayish white on the bottom. I also like how the painting has so many details. Like the feathers look soft and have many small ruffles that are feathers all over the body and wings. The colors on these birds are very majestic colors. The colors black, grayish white, and white.

  12. In The Meadow Lark, or Meadow Starling, the birds were hungry and worried. The father bird bravely flew off on a mission in search of food while the two young ones and the mother stayed behind at the nest. The mother bird stood watch with one of the young ones. The youngest and smallest bird was scared to come out of the nest, so it decided to stay in and just peek out. The nest was in a dangerous place, the ground. The few flowers and grass surrounding the nest wouldn’t protect it and the family of birds. The yellow of the flowers was the same golden yellow as the birds bellies, and striped throughout their feathers. The flowers curved over the top of the nest and the birds were careful to snuggle it into the grass and cover it with leaves. Soon the father bird would return with food, and the family’s hunger would be content until next time.

  13. I picked “The Meadow Lark, or Meadow Starling” picture because it seems way more descriptive and cheerful than the other one. When I look at the picture, the first thing I see is a nice bird family. Four beautiful birds… the baby, the mother, the brother, and the father. It seems as though the mother is going to go get food for the children and the dad is keeping a look out, to see if there is any danger around the little baby. I think it is spring outside because there are beautiful yellow flowers blooming all around the nest. I also see a rock beside the nest with beautiful green healthy grass that keeps the little family hidden from predators. The birds, which are called larks, have yellow breasts and their wings are mostly black with yellow stripes. Perhaps, the big brother, next to the father wants to fly away on an adventure. I see a lot of moss in that picture which probably helps to keep their home nice and cozy. I really like this picture, and it reminds me of my comfortable home!

  14. The Meadow Lark, or Meadow Starling has four birds. The feathers smoothly line their bodies, projecting the gold and black bird through the air. The navy and gold bird looks protective, searching the skies for threats to the vulnerable brown bird in the nest. The navy bird was leaning forward like he spotted something in the vast blue sky. His tail feathers were perfectly crooked and the black diamond on his chest shone against its gold competitor. The beak of this bird was a light blue and its eye was watchful. The brown and black bird snuggled in his makeshift home fearful the gold flowers will fail to hide his abode from predators. She sits precariously waiting for food or the threat of being eaten. He is glancing outward his eyes intent on something in the distance. His fellow watchmen a yellow and black bird sits crouched ready for flight. His eyes watching a threat as it passes overhead unaware of the band of birds it flew over. The bird sits in silence his wise eyes searching for escape routes if necessary. His tail feathers are flat pressed to the rock below him. The gold and black bird decided against sitting and waiting and took off in a flurry, yellow tail feathers spreading out of his normally gold and black in the shock of the takeoff. he will soon return after realizing his mistake, or he will keep at his flight after exposing the nest to the feared predator. The fate of the four relies on this keenness of the predators senses.

  15. On the Golden-eye Duck plate I see a simple story. I see two baby birds trying to fly for the first time. The one on the left seems like a natural flyer. Its wings are fully spread out as though he’s soaring. He looks like he’s having a great time because his eyes are looking around and seem relaxed. The bird to the right seems to have different emotions. He looks like he’s trying very hard to stay in the air , but it’s not working. His wings aren’t fully outstretched and they look flimsy. His head is also sticking straight into the air which shows that he’s trying to get higher. His eyes look frightened and scared. I can just imagine the bird to the right shouting, “Wahoo! This is awesome!” I can also see the bird on the right quietly agreeing to sound cool, but thinking,” Oh no! I’m going to fall! What should I do?” I think the bird to the right represents someone that is scared and doesn’t understand what to do, but is too afraid to ask for help. The bird on the left seems like a normal person that is having too great of a time to realize that the others around them aren’t. I think that there are many scenes like this in life.If you ever find yourself in the place of the bird on the left, remember that no matter how fun and easy something is for you, it may no be like that for others. It is important to always be aware of other’s needs and stop and help them when they need you.

  16. In this picture I see a momma bird and her children. The momma bird is leaving the nest , two of the children look like they are shouting or chirping, and the smallest child is in the nest looking very weak. The birds seem like they are being startled and are trying to protect the nest, while the mom is going to attack what ever is coming into the nest. The smallest bird looks like it is hurt and that may be the reason why the siblings and the mom are leaving. My other story is that the momma bird is leaving her children, and they children are crying for her to come back to them.

  17. I thought that the Meadow Starling looked nice. In the picture you can tell that there are three larger birds looking all in different directions and all in different positions. The bird that is flying looks as if it might not care about the others and has left. Yet no one seems to notice him either. The bird in the bottom left looks almost as if it wants to fly away but there is something that is holding it back. It seems as if it wants to stay with the family. The bird in the bottom right corner looks like he doesn’t want to leave he wants to stay put and not go anywhere. Maybe the family of birds needs to leave the habit they’re in now and leave, but he isn’t reading for change. And last but not least, if you look in the very center of the picture you can see a little baby bird that looks scared and doesn’t know what to do. He can’t decide what to do and no one has told what he might want to do. The family seems to care just for their own decisions, their own future. But if nobody helps the little baby out he won’t have a future to decide for.

  18. The “Golden-eye Duck” is by John James Audubon, a famous artist, who’s mentioned in the book “Okay For Now.” In this great piece of art there is a message. The message I think it’s trying to express is that sometimes people want to help others when they are getting bullied but are just too afraid to grab the other claw. To grab the other claw basically means to just take a step forward. In this photo there is an example of this activity by showing a falling bird and a fine, healthy bird. The healthy bird is trying to grab the hurt bird but doesn’t know if the bird will bring him down too. The picture has many dark colors to express the sadness and anger in the piece of art. One of the two birds, which happens to be the falling one, has a white dot on it’s face. The other one doesn’t, which in life means that one person is different from another. People usually get made fun of because of looking or being different than others. This bird looks as though he has been hurt in someway as well. I like how in the photo the claws and eyes are gold so they stand out. It makes the birds look more haunting and intriguing. Hopefully the healthy bird will make the right decision to help the bird that is hurt out. We know in life the right decision is not always the easiest one to make.

    1. This is my favorite of the two plates because I like the amount of detail put in it and I can tell what’s happening. It’s also very beautiful.

    2. This also reminds of how Doug is like the falling bird and his mom is like the bird that it trying to save him but doesn’t want to get hurt by her husband either. I think she just needs to leave with Doug and go far far away.

  19. I like the “Golden-eye Duck” picture. I think that the picture shows two birds flying, one bird is injured and the other one is flying away. The colors of the background make me think it’s storming. The bird on the right looks like he got hurt by the storm, but instead of helping him, the bird on the left is flying away. This is exactly like Okay For Now, Doug is like the injured bird and his brothers, dad and the rest of “Stupid Marysville” are like the other bird, just flying away and leaving him to struggle. 🙁

  20. In the first painting, I see two parents guarding their nest early in the morning while their children are still sleeping. One of the parents seems to be more close to the children while the other seems to be guarding from farther away. It looks like the kids are looking out of the nest trying to figure out what their parents are doing, but the parents won’t tell them so as not to make them scarred or nervous, all they do is comfort the children. One of the parents almost looks like it might be flying away as if he is giving up on the family, the other keeps staying loyal and doesn’t even try to get the other to come back.

  21. The second plate of the golden-eye duck is very interesting. The duck on top of the other ducks seems to be terrified and the one on the bottom is trying to land because it looks injured. The duck on the right is trying to grab the other duck from crashing into the ground. The bird helping the other shows that they may be friends or just trying to help one another. The duck on the right has very wide eyes, his wings are spread in an odd angle and his legs are out. The duck on the left is looking like its diving strait down like it’s injured. Both of their beaks are open and look like they are quaking at each other. The gray background shows that this picture was meant to be very sad. In the grey background, it looks like its stormy too. But, it makes the ducks stand out more and makes you focus on whats going on in the picture.

  22. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
    – Les Brown

    This quote reminded me of the second picture, “The Golden-Eye Duck. “In this picture, I see not two ducks, but only one in two different positions. In the photo, I can tell that this bird is very high up, he is struggling to get higher and higher. He is “shooting for the moon”, or trying to reach his goal. I think his goal could be to fly all the way to touch the clouds. As he keeps flying higher and higher, it is getting harder and harder for the little bird to reach is goal. The frazzled look on his face can tell me that he is going to give up. The wind is pushing him back. The way the bird’s beak is open gives me the impression that he is having hard time breathing. His golden eye looks as if it’s about to burst into tears. The bird finally realized he couldn’t make it. This reminds me of any T.V game show. When people put a lot of effort in, they can make it very far in the game but, when it gets harder and harder, you usually get “out”. The bird just got “out”. The bird has finally faced the fact that he just cannot go any farther. Now, the bird is turning around and heading back. He looks a little less sad. His mouth looks a little happier. I can tell that he is happy to be finishing, but quite sad that he did not reach his goal. I think that he is proud of how far and how close he came. I guess he “landed among the stars” The wind is pushing him slightly to the right as he comes down. Some people might say that there are two birds in this painting, but I must oppose that! It could be a time-lapse kind of photo. Also, the white circle on the cheek on the lower bird could simply be the other side of his face. The background shows me that it is a sad and gloomy day outside. I could be that a storm is brewing. Once again my story is a story of a poor little bird that strives for one goal but cannot reach it. Although he did not quite reach his goal, he is happy with all of his effort. Hopefully, the sky will clear up and the bird can try again.

  23. The first plate, “The Meadow Lark” is about birds growing up and learning new things. The bird on the right is not afraid to go out and explore what the world has to offer. The other birds, on the other hand, are not so sure as what to do because anything can happen at any given time. This relates to Okay For Now in a lot of different ways. The afraid birds are Doug and his mother because they never know if anything they do is right or wrong anymore. The brave bird can be applied to both Doug’s brother and his father because they sometimes don’t think before they do stuff; they just do it. They don’t care what other people say; they just care about themselves. It also signifies adapting to change because Doug and his family just moved to Marysville, New York from Long Island, and their mindset is different because they’re living in a totally different town and meeting new people.

    The flowers in the background show that at the end of the tunnel there’s a glimmer of hope between Doug and his family. They’ve already had their fair share of ups and downs since they moved to Marysville, and I think it’s time something great comes for Doug and his family soon because they deserve a break.

  24. In the second picture, unlike others, I don’t think the two birds are enemies. Neither of them are looking at each other, and they both have panic in their eyes. They look in opposite directions as if they’re surrounded. The sky is dark and stormy, so you know something bad is happening. I think they are either surrounded by the bad weather, or maybe predators. In a way, this connects to OK For Now. In the book, Doug and his mom are surrounded by old enemies, (father, and brother) and new faces. The birds stand back to back, as if to protect each other, just as Doug and his mom brighten eachother’s days, to make t a little more bearable.

  25. I think this is a very good blog to get us thinking about the novel “Okay For Now”. I chose the plate labeled “The Golden-eyed Duck”. The ducks look like they want to fight each other and they also look like they are male birds. On the plate, I see mostly gray and some blue water in the background with the two ducks flying above it. The birds almost look like they don’t want to touch the water and that they are afraid to touch the water. The duck on the left is mostly black with some white marks on his belly and back, and his wings are mostly gray and black with some white spots on the duck. This duck had webbed feet and they are golden. The duck has a black beak, a pink tongue, and a golden eye. This duck is a lot larger than the other duck on the right side. The other duck on the right side is white, black ,and has a little bit of gray here and there. Their was one thing I noticed from the moment I saw this ducks wings. One of the the wings is all gray with a little white but the other wing is all black. The birds feet are webbed and are golden. The ducks head is brown, has a golden eye, and the beak is mostly brown with little gold specks. I think the main point of this plate was to show that the two birds were very different in size, appearance, and fearlessness.

  26. Dear Folks,

    Thank you for connecting me to all of your comments. It is really wonderful to see you engaging with these pictures on this level. You all of great narrative ideas–it’s fantastic to see the way you give personality to the birds, but also narrative to the setting. But I also like the way you take into account the line and the colors that are involved. Very, very cool.

    If you had all been in my study today while I was trying to figure out a scene in the next book about Meryl Lee, that would have been a huge help!

    Gary Schmidt

    1. Thank you Mr. Schmidt for reading and commenting on our blog posts. I’ve enjoyed the begging of you book Okay For Now. I enjoy how much I’m connecting with Doug and his life.

  27. In the second picture the birds look the most interesting to me. They almost look like they are fighting over something or just fly is an odd way. Also I think that they are fighting because the colors in the picture are dark. Because of the dark grays and browns I’m guessing that it is sad or bad. Maybe they are fighting over something sad or bad. This are my thoughts in the second picture.

  28. I am going to write about the Meadow Lark one.

    The bird on the right reminds me of a friend leaving him for new friends. The one on the left is ignoring the one in the middle. The one in the middle looks like it is depressed because of friends betraying him and leaving him in the dust almost. The middle one is sad and lonely while the others have fun with new friends. The middle one is so sad he feels little and tiny and is scared to come out of the burrow. He is scared because he doesn’t want to get hurt and lose friends again.

  29. A storm is brewing, the birds are making there way home. Suddenly the storm strikes, the birds show the terror in there dark feathers suddenly one looses control and hurtles toward earth leaving only one terrified golden eyed duck remaining. One duck has lighter feathers telling us that it might be gong on to a happier place. The other remaining bird looks down at earth sad and alone with a darker, sadder color of feathers. We do not know if the birds were friends, brother and sister or any thing else. We do know that the darker bird tries to save the bird with his feet but fails in the end.

  30. Four birds are in picture. One is small and alone in the nest. Two are on the ground an seem to be looking for something that is going to come out of nowhere. They are scared that something will hurt them or the small one. Another bird is above the hidden nest and is looking for attacks from the sky. They know something is out to get them or the small bird. The two birds on the ground are blending in to the background and no one is going to notice them first when you first look at it. The small one is barely looking out of the top of the nest. Everyone is protecting the home and they seem to have taken control over their home. Thy all have their own specific job to do. This is a picture of three birds defending what is theirs.

  31. For this post, I’ll choose the first picture. In this picture, there are four birds. Three of the birds look like they’re trying to protect a baby bird in the nest. To me, it looks like one is flying off to get food for the baby, one is scouting for any predators, and the third is looking out for attacks coming from the sky. The third one also looks like it’s doing something else. If you look at it a different way, it can also look like it’s abandoning it’s duties and the chic by looking far away. The reason I think the third bird is trying to protect the baby is because of the background. It’s not dull and gloomy, but happy wit the yellows and greens. It really doesn’t look like a depressing scene, but a happy one.

  32. In the picture there are birds laying in what looks like a grassy land with flowers that is considered as its home. In the middle I see a little baby bird just bird and in need of care. His mother and brother are finding food for him to be able to survive. And looking for a good and safe place to live. The family is protecting him from any danger that lurks. They feel like keeping the bird in a hidden and safe place is the best way to protect. The mother doesn’t want anything to happen to her baby. The baby had a good future ahead and much to learn by following her mothers right ways. These birds are trying to survive the wild world of theirs, and is trying to prevent anything from happening bad to the baby. In the picture they are looking out for any enemies that are trying to attack their family. They love each other and wont let anything happen to them.

  33. The second picture reminds me of sadness. When I look at the birds, it looks like they are falling, and can’t fly because they haven’t learned how to fly yet. They remind me of the time when I was four, and I saw a bird on the ground, and it looked sad. I like this plate, and I think that it should be in a museum. It looks like it would be a very pretty painting. I really like them both, but I like the second one more. It really seems to have a message. The message of this plate is that birds must learn to fly, because they might fall. I hope that all birds will learn how to fly, so they will have a great future!

  34. In the Meadow Lark or Meadow Starling, I believe it’s a family of baby birds, and the father is fling away to go get food for the family and has left the mom in charge. The mom doesn’t look to happy but very alert. The way her head is cocked looks unnatural and uncomfortable, but to tell the truth I don’t know that much about birds. The baby’s are in the underground nest, waiting and looking scarier because the male bird usually protects the nest and the mother gets food. The mom is kind of stuck because she can’t leave her babies unprotected and the babies are unsure. They’re afraid if the their dad will be coming back to the nest. So they’re there alone and pretty much unprotected!

  35. The meadow starlings are looking for something. They are looking near and far on the ground and in the air above. The two larger starlings are looking in different directions one high one low, one right one left, looking for anything dangerous that could hurt their little fledglings. It is their instinct to protect their young and they are trying to not mess up. The fledglings have just learned that there is a world out of the nest they call home and are looking for something. But, the fledglings are not looking for dangerous things, they are looking at everything that their little eyes can see. One of the fledglings is brave enough to step foot on this new and alien land. The other fledgling sees the new land but does not venture for fear that he will lose what little he has. The curious fledgling likes the new view of golden yellow flowers, but stays close to the nest for the same reason his timid brother stays in the nest. The curious fledgling has that feeling of pure amazement and awe that almost takes over your thoughts about everything you have ever seen before. This is not a picture of birds this is the story of growing up, the over protective parents and new places. The whole thing captured in an image of birds.

    1. My second to last sentence is too long. I should have put a period after birds and capitalized the t in the new sentence.

  36. In the first plate by John James Audubon, it makes my feel sad, because it looks to me like the bird on the right was being mean to the other one on the left. since that bird was being mean to the left one, the left one turned his back on the right one, and the right one flew away. The bird in the middle I think was trying to stop them from fighting, but wasn’t successful. The smallest bird in the nest, was scared of them fighting since he is so small, and he was just hiding in the nest waiting until it was over. This picture reminds me of a mom who is the one trying to stop them from fighting, and then two older brothers that are the ones fighting, and the small bird in the nest is the baby sister that doesn’t know what to do. One thing that I really do like about this plate is the setting, I love how their nest is on what looks like a small little island in the air. I also really like the colors that are used in the picture, especially the background with the plants and all the green, and I love how the nest is leaning into the plants like that is the only thing that is ever going to hold it up. I love how this picture was just made in general to.

  37. In the first plate, it looks like a mother bird is flying away to find food. She seems to be looking around, but is sad to leave her babies. The babies seem to be calling her, but she doesn’t reply to them. She has to find the food even if it means leaving her babies. The papa bird is left with the babies, and he doesn’t look to happy about it. He won’t look at mama bird, but is still keeping a lookout for predators.

  38. I think the golden-eyed duck picture tell the story of two birds trying to escape something horrible. The horrible something can’t be seen and that is the mystery behind the painting. The first duck is trying to get away from somthing while the second duck follows it. I can relate this to Okay for Now, because Doug and his mom are trying to get away from something, and that something is most likely Doug’s dad.

  39. The Meadow Lark image is full of crazy colors and amazing pictures. One of the things that struck me right when I looked at the photo was the color of the beautiful flying bird. It is a wonderful combination of yellow and black on the wings, and the feathers at the back have that same yellowish color. Another thing I thought was amazing was the nest. There is so much detail. You can see almost every stick and piece of straw, so it shows how hard the Meadow Lark had to work to build it. The artist tips it on its side so you can see the fourth small bird inside. I think all the birds are from the same family. I expect that the two larger birds are the mother and father. It is very interesting how the artist painted the picture so you could see the colors on the back of one of the adults and the belly of the other! The smaller birds seem like they are just learning how to fly.

    In addition to the birds and their nest, another cool detail is the flowers towards the top of the picture. They look so realistic, and they looks like something you would see in the country or around a pond. You can also almost see little specks of pollen as if it had just fallen from the flower. The last thing that struck me was the meadow floor. It seems exactly like the misty brown meadow floor in real life. This picture is incredible and full of things that you wouldn’t normally see in a regular photo. It shows the beautiful nature we have all around us.

  40. In the Meadow Lark or Meadow Starling it seems to me as if the birds are hiding. To me it looks like they are trying to be small and hidden in with their surroundings. The bird on the left looks like the mother, protecting over her young newborn in the nest. Lots of yellow can be seen on her, naturally drawing our attention to the bright colors. She is looking away as if searching for something to attack. The bird with its wings spread wide, flying away gives me the feeling has dominance in the picture. That is why I assume it is the father who is flying away for help or to view their surroundings. The bird almost hidden in the shadows seems to me like a older sibling of the little chick in the nest. It seems that the artist didn’t want whoever looked at the picture to have their attention to the drawn straight to the hidden bird. The fact, because it is hidden wants me to know even more the story behind it. Based on my theory that they are hiding from something, they could be hiding from many different things. The landscape they are in remindes me of some type of field or an open prairie. They could be hiding from foxes, bears, larger birds, or even farmers.

    The second idea that comes to my mind when I look at this picture is a whole different story. The four birds a scavenging for food and scared the owners of the nest away. The birds are all males who would have no problem attacking a newborn chick and its mother. Male birds even enjoy torturing young chicks and sometimes even killing. The on the right almost hidden in its surroundings is the leader because of the way it holds its body like he is barking orders. The reason I thought of the two very different ideas was the way the way the bird in the nest looks at me. The way he tilts his head makes me think he can stare right through my soul.

  41. The Golden Eye Duck was a very unique picture. Audubon seemed to have painted this one while he shot the bird out of the sky. You can see a small speck of blood on the bird that is falling from the sky. The other seems to be trying to help its friend. It is sticking one of its flippers out to the bird that got shot, and is trying to save it. It could also be flying away, trying not to get shot. You can tell that they are flying because of the blue and grey colors in the background. The other bird that’s not falling might actually have been shot too because it looked startled, and it might have been falling. The strange thing was that the two birds looked different. The bird on the bottom has white marks on its cheek, and its beak is completely black. The bird on top didn’t have any of that stuff on their. They looked like they might have been a male and female. They might have been different birds. Audubon made this hard for us o understand. He might have been wanting to make us really look hard, bu then most people are to lazy to look for it.

    1. Mrs. Cobb, I had trouble posting my blog. I did it yesterday and it didn’t work. I redid the comment because you said I could not send you an email. I redid it and now it works.

      That’s cool that Gary Schmidt commented.

      1. Thats odd, it did that to me last week. I made the mistake of telling Mrs. Cobb to late. Talk to her about it, she knows whats wrong.

        P.S. Try Chrome it works better than safari.

  42. In the second plate, there are two birds who seem to be playing and flying in irregular motions at a downward angle. The birds are in a storm which makes the picture even more gloomy. The bird on the right has a fearful look in his eye which makes me believe that the birds are not playing at all. To me, I see the bird on the left flying away while the other bird tries to hold it back. The bird on the right extends its foot to keep it from moving forward. This speaks a lot to me because it is a lot like “The Wednesday Wars” and “Ok For Now.” Do you remember how Holling tries to have his own choice, but his Dad won’t let him? It also applies with Doug because he wants to be an artist, but all of the negativity from his brother and some others makes his mind think it’s not cool to be an artist. Even his mind is holding him back. All of the things around him are absorbed which make him think negatively about art sometimes. He says things like “chump” about art when peple around him are holding him back. No matter how much he loves it. I feel like he doesn’t have much of a say because of his position in the family. I hope that he can learn to be an individual and create his own fate.

  43. I chose the Golden-Eyed Duck plate. In this picture, I think that the birds are in a huge, windy storm. The sky is dark and gloomy. The birds look like they want to get somewhere but they can’t. They are terrified. Their black and white feathers are ruffled and tattered from the massive winds.They are drifting away from each other.They are trying hard to fly forward, but their wings are not strong enough. They are being pushed back to where they came from. It looks like they are about to give up, but they will give it one more try. Their eyes look scared as though they have seen a poacher and they want to get out of his sights. They appear to be trying to catch up to the rest of the flock. When the are able to catch up to the rest of the ducks they will feel safe. This will take a lot of hard work flying through the storm. But once they have done it, they will feel great about themselves because they kept trying and never gave up.

  44. When I saw the tile titled Golden-eye Duck I thought “ Those are some confused ducks” the one higher up, seems to be leaving or backstabbing the other one ,but sad at the same time like it was a hard choice, but it must be. The lower duck seems to be sacred or frightful. You can see it in his eyes. His frightful eye. According to the background, it seems to be stormy and night. The Duck, falling looks like it is facing its finally hour. That’s what I thought of the Plate

  45. When I look at the second picture I think of some teaching some something new. Like how in Ok For Now lil showed Doug how to drink a really cold Coke. It appears that the duck not with the wight dot is smiling. It also looks likes he is doing some weird with his head, just like in the book! Thanks Gary Schmidt for these two amazing book!

  46. In the second plate it looks to me that these birds are fighting about something. The sky is dark and thick. It looks like there is fog and it’s night time. I think the bird on the bottom is trying to fly away from the other one on top of him. It looks like there talking to each other too. The bird at the top is almost kicking the other bird. The bird tords the bottom looks like he’s trying to get somewhere but the other bird is holding him back. Like the other bird is bullying the other. This plate is symboling to me the issues of bullying in this world.

  47. When I walk up to the top floor at my friend’s house, I find a small book on a mini wooden table. I look at the page it is turned to and find four fascinating birds. The picture was so beautiful that I could not take my eyes off of it. Two of the birds were looking out into the distance like there was something that they were looking for. The bird on the bottom has food in its mouth and looks like he is going to fly at any moment. The last bird is hiding in the nest like he is afraid of the new world and is not ready to explore yet. I glance at the tiny printing at the bottom and it says The Meadow Lark, or Meadow Starling. My friend comes back up and finds me staring at the photo and not taking my eyes off of it. She gives me the tiny book and a pencil and a piece of paper and says try to draw it. I sit down at the mini wooden table and draw the descriptive feathers of the birds, then the slick back, and last the face and the beak. Next, I draw the tilting flowers and the nest full of twigs and grass. The last thing I draw is the tiny bird in the background. The bird is in the nest waiting for his time to explore the world.

  48. I’m basing my story on the second picture of the Golden-eye Ducks. The duck on the left is the the duck child, and the duck on the right is the child’s mommy.

    One day the duck child asked the duck mommy if he could go out on a flying trip. It would have been the duck child’s first flight, so the mommy duck said “No, not today honey.” The little bird was disappointed, but he went on his own anyway, and of course, he couldn’t fly because it was his first flight.

    After a little practice he gave himself, he started to fly well! He soared through the sky until he went so high that he could see the stars. He had never seen a star before, so he sat gently against the illuminating moon, and gazed at the stars. The little bird tried to catch one, but it floated away. He kept making an effort to catch all the stars close to him, but after awhile, he noticed there were no more stars around him. But the little bird saw one more star still in sight, and reached and reached for it until he fell off the moon’s surface, and fell down, down, down until he hit the soft green grass. It wasn’t all that bad though because the grass was soft, and when he opened his beak, he noticed that the last star fell out of his mouth. He saved the last star!

    The little bird saw his mom in the distance. His mom approached him, and was very disappointed – yet impressed – with her son.

  49. In the plate with the nest in the tree I think that the birds are preparing for a hard winter. The flowers are bloomed and the grass is green. Everything looks new, but you can almost feel the grass on the verge of dying. The birds have just had chicks and the mother is watching out for danger while the father is going out hunting for food. The picture look almost real if you close your eyes and think about one part of the picture you can feel the wind on the bird wings, and the protection the mother is giving to the chicks. The picture comes to life in your mind. You can also feel the heat of summer, but you can tell that winter is coming because it is windy and a nice temperature. When you look at this picture you can almost see how amazing nature is.

  50. I made some revisions to the paragraph.

    I chose to describe the Golden-eye Duck. From what the picture shows you can sense that the picture seems to be dark and gloomy, with what seems to be dark clouds in the background. The artist brought all the attention to the two birds. There might be a wind blowing, because the bird’s feathers are sort of misplaced on the bird’s body. The bird on the right has more grey feathers than the one on the left which has more black feathers. You can tell that the birds might be fighting; the grey one is chasing the black, and the black one might be trying to flee. The black bird would probably be Doug, because he is always getting beat-up by his brother and father. The grey bird could either be Doug’s father or brother, because they are always beating Doug up. It also reminds me of a bird just trying to get away, just like Doug, who is always trying to get away from his father.

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