Tag Archives: ducks

Of Seagulls

I had a conversation with a friend about my favorite birds.

#1 Ducks.  The way you feel when you see a human baby?  That’s the way I feel when I see a duck.  That makes me weird, I know, but I grew up handraising ducklings and taking walks in my garden with my Indian Runner, Sebastien, him heeling perfectly beside me, while we discussed the flowers and the work that needed to be done.  He had a lot of very insightful things to say.  If I’d understood Quack, I’d have picked up a lot of helpful tips.

#2 Crows.  How can anyone not like crows?  They’re so gothic and clever and interesting and opinionated – more like people than a few people I know.

#3 Seagulls.  And here’s where my friend stopped believing I was telling the truth.  He simply couldn’t believe that anyone would choose seagulls over something like, say, a meadowlark.

So partly for George, here’s a list of why:

1) Seagulls are art on the wing.  It fills me with pure wild happiness to watch them soaring and balancing on the wind, their long and delicate wings tipped to catch the blue of the sky.  No other bird flies with such grace.  I could watch them for hours – and I have.

2) Songbirds may have prettier songs, but the cry of a seagull is melancholy given voice.  It tears into me and sends shivers through me.  I count the seagull’s call as one of my favorite sounds – and not just measured against other birds’ songs, but against the world itself.

3) Seagulls have such personality.  Sit and throw french fries to a group of them, and after twenty minutes you’ll be able to tell each bird apart just by its personality.  Some are bullies, some shy, but even the shyest has a brashness, a bold belief that, yes, he is a marvelous bird, and deserving of respect.  We humans could learn from that.

Seagulls are a glory in this world, and people who think of them merely as “garbage birds” miss out on seeing so much.  People are conditioned, I think, to love songbirds, admire eagles, respect owls, and be charmed by chickadees and hummingbirds, but none of those birds are any more marvelous than a seagull.  It’s just that seagulls are so common that we overlook them, the way we overlook the reflection of mud puddles, and the magic of every ‘commonly’ exquisite thing.  That’s a great pity, and our great loss.

For myself, I never fail to look up in parking lots and parks, beside the water, and over the asphalt, seeking the glint of a soaring white wing, and listening for the shivering lonely cry.

If I could be any bird in the world for a single hour, I’d choose to be a seagull.  They fly the way my soul flies.

Cool things of Sundry Description

Okay…cool things…what have I got?

Well, thanks to my friend Bonnie (who I hope is feeling better!), I have this mindboggling youtube timewaster.  Yup, that’s my favorite sort of internet thingee!

BarackPaperScissors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2mcdS6ioo8

Go there.  You’ll love it.

I’m currently obsessed with genealogy, but even before I became obsessed with Ancestry.com, I wanted to know more about my Great-Grandmother Merritt.  I’ve always felt a sort of affinity with her, even though she died before I was born.  I’ve collected several family heirlooms that were hers.  But I was never able to find out more about the Merritt family’s origins – the only thing I had was the name of her father, and I could find out nothing about him.  It was deeply frustrating.

But then I was cruising ebay, and I found this guy:

http://myworld.ebay.com/boba216/

He offers 2 hours of professional genealogy research for a starting bid of $3.  You can’t beat that!  So I won my auction, and put him to work.  So far, he’s worked one hour, and traced the Merritts back five generations!  Very, very cool.  I may have to purchase some time later at his normal wage of $12 an hour and have him solve another problem that’s been bugging me.

In my own genealogy research, I’ve found I’m direct-blood related to King John I of England (he of Robin Hood infamy), King Duncan I of Scotland (he who was murdered by MacBeth), and Charlemagne.  I’ve also got a family line of Stuarts, and it turns out I’m some sort of cousin to Robert the Bruce (his daughter married my ancestor’s brother….)

What else is cool?  Oh yes.  I’m past the 100,000 word mark in Arassa!  Now I can only hope I reach the The End soon.  I don’t want to write another massive book after the last one I wrote (which was so huge I broke it up into two novels, and they were still on the longish side!)  This is the stage where I’m using lots and lots of pure determination and stubbornness.  Arassa is still fun to write, but it’s so tempting to put it aside and work on something new and different.  The Othermind isn’t helping, either, because lately I’ve been positively bombarded with images and ideas for the next book.  They sneak up on me, these ideas.  It’s a good sign that I’m reaching the end of Arassa, though.

This costumer’s blog is awesome (and cool).

http://theartofclothes.blogspot.com/

She’s one of the people I want to grow up to be.  I’m so bloody envious of her hand-sewn eyelets on her new corset-in-the-making, that I am probably going to attempt some on my new corset.  And look!  I’ve got the boning for that corset!

4e04_1_b

It’s basically 5mm lengths of wooden sticks.  Technically, they’re used for basket-making, but if you want to make a really, really authentic corset…well, they didn’t have plastic boning in the 1700s, did they?

I’ll leave you with this image of two indian runner ducks…

250px-runner-ducks

….because let’s face it.

Ducks are basically the coolest things on the planet.