SkADaMo 2017 post 8

November 19, 2017

squirelark

She was fluttering around in my head for a few days. Finally scratched her way out.

just because

June 17, 2012

He’s pretty rough, but thought since it’s been a while,  I’d throw out a kookaburra, just because.

Oh, and if you’ve never heard a kookaburra laugh, listen to this.

shaky

July 7, 2009

pretendkitt

The ill-conceived attempt by Alawicious to make new friends, was further complicated by his lack of quality materials.

…………………………………………………………………..

The Illustration Friday theme for this week is “shaky.”

Some of you might remember this little guy from the “Pretend” theme back in November. Yep, I’m once again relying on an older post to fill the time void I’m experiencing of late. But I thought perhaps mine and Alawicious’ shaky attempt at winning you over might work well with this weeks theme.

Am I so wrong?

pretend

November 16, 2008

pretendkitt

The ill-conceived attempt by Alawicious to make new friends, was further complicated by his lack of quality materials.

The Illustration Friday theme for this week is “Pretend.”

CAT-BIRD seated.

If you are sitting in the “Catbird Seat” you are sitting pretty, or in a favored position. You have the upper hand, an advantage.

Now there seems to be a bit of debate on whether the legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber coined this phrase or if he borrowed the folksy phrase from his Southern origins. Some feel he may have lifted the phrase from James Thurber’s 1942 short story of the same name “The Catbird Seat.” However, according to Wikipedia, Barber’s daughter claims her dad began using the phrase only after reading Thurber’s story. But then Red Barber says Thurber purloined the term from him… and so it goes, back and forth. Is it really important? Not so much.

In another part of the world, the Australian bowerbird is also known as the catbird. This little guy is known for his elaborate, artistic displays, in order to attract a mate. Some males will gather up hundreds of shells, colored glass or rock and arrange them into a remarkable “seat” upon which his potential mate will be enthroned. A favored postion? Sitting pretty perhaps?

Hmmmmm. I think I get it now.

Well, regardless of the etymology, it seems our hero above, in the makeshift bird costume, as hard as he may be trying, is not fooling anyone, least of all his little bird friend. Cat-bird is in anything but a favored postion. Nor is he sitting or otherwise pretty.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As an aside, I hadn’t realized until looking up the etymology for this phrase that the bowerbird would be involved. Ironically, my friend Laurel at Studio Lolo had posted a beautiful painting of one of these magical fellows. Take a look.

a little birdy told me

February 29, 2008

boids.jpg

When we’d rather not reveal the source of the slanderous gossip we are whispering into the ear of our co-worker, we might find ourselves using the phrase “a little bird told me.” Yeah, it’s a cute saying and people have been using it for ions, but why? We all know birds can’t talk?

Or can they?

We all know that teaching a parrot to mimic certain words is possible, but are they capable of more?

As I perused the March issue of “National Geographic” I came across an article called “Minds of their Own, Animals are smarter than you think.” In this article, among many fascinating examples, was one about an African gray parrot named Alex. Alex not only spoke, but he spoke his mind, so to speak.

His owner roommate, Irene Pepperberg decided to teach him to reproduce the sound of the English language so she could then ask him questions about how he saw the world. She did this at a time when most scientist thought of animals as automatons, incapable of any thought. Animals were thought to be merely robots programmed to react to stimuli, nothing more.

One of the ways Pepperberg demonstrated Alex’s ability to think was to hold up a green key and a green cup.

She asked Alex, “What’s the same?”

Without hesitation, Alex said “Co-lor.”

She then asked “What’s different.”

“Shape.” Alex squawked.

Alex also had his own name for apples, one of his favorite foods. Because they tasted a bit like banana to him and because they looked a bit like cherries, Alex made up a name for them: ‘ban-erry.”

Y’all really have to read this article.

Amazing what you can do with a brain the size of a shelled walnut.

who?

January 25, 2008

owl.jpg

OWL

Because he was wise,
the owl would advise
on the great many things that he knew.

But his friends began fearing
he had trouble hearing.
When they called him by name, he’d ask “who?”