Thursday, August 21, 2008

Artsy Fartsy Birds IATB Edition #82

Welcome to the Artsy Fartsy Birds Edition #82 of I and the Bird
The Ansel Adams of Bird Photography, Klaus of Virtua Gallery: Limpkin

In this week’s edition we will examine the interconnectedness of birds, birding, art, poetry and philosophy. We will see how birds have influenced our lives and our creative selves.

When I read the Fenlandwalkers’ blog post about Flocks in Flight I thought of these lines from Rumi, a Sufi mystic and poet born in 1204. In his poem, divan 730 he writes:

Look! Quickly, look there among the trembling feathers
Of the copper beach, there, you see them—birds making
Ready to ride the dawn skies. They’ll rise up soon, rise up
Leave behind their conferring selves, to skim the seventh
Heaven turning and changing with the stripling light.

But Rumi is not the only one inspired by the image of a bird in flight. In 1926 Brancusi bought a sculpture into the USA from Romania that caused quite a stir in art shows and in customs. It spurred a legal battle even as it stirred the question of “What is Art?” Perhaps the customs agents and the artist himself could have benefited from the Bird Ecology Study Group’s Blog post, Flocking or Migration, Plain Pouched Hornbills. I think I see a resemblance to Brancusi’s controversial sculpture!

Brancusi: Bird in Space

The DC Birding Blog recounts the discovery of a New Forest Robin Species. Unlike our American Robin, which is really a thrush, this little bird reminds me of the robin in The Secret Garden a children’s book by Frances Hodges Burnet. The little robin is a central character in the book, and Old Wom Tigley of Wigger’s World not only has an excellent photo of this little robin, but he has used his artistic and creative skills to give us this impressionistic image of the bird that recalls Monet or Renoir.
English Robin by Tom Wigley

If Descartes, an 18 century philosopher declares, “I think, therefore I am,” then the birders in the movie, Opposable Chums, reviewed by The Hawk Owls Nest would probably declare, “I Bird, therefore I am!” (Or would it be; "I am, therefore I Bird?")

After reading about The Unkindness of Ravens and Other Bird Stories perhaps It's Just Me, Liza Lee Miller will join Edger Allen Poe in his poem The Raven as he declares, “Never More”.

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

So, to cheer you up, take a trip with Mike of 10,000 Birds to find out if he discovered, like Anne Morrow Lindberg, the Gift of the Sea when he explored The Birds of Virginia Beach.

Alright, has Jackson Pollock been up to mischief? You might think so when you take a look at this Swirly Bird entered by the Nancy Castillo of the Zen Bird Feeder.

Swirly Bird by the Zen Bird Feeder
You can try your creating yoru own Pollock masterpiece by clicking on this link for Jackson Pollock. Once you are there a blank page will appear but, just move your mouse and see what happens! Left click to change colors.

If you like Van Gogh and his Sunflowers, then take a look at the Birder’s Lounge to see a Yellow Warbler in a Sunflower. What do you think Van Gogh could do with this image?

Troy and Martha of Ramblings Around Texas could be our modern Walt Whitman's with cameras. Walt Sang a “Song of Myself” in his book, Leaves of Grass, while Troy and Martha sing a song of nature. While his post, Will The Guilty Goose Step Forward may remind you more of Sherlock Holmes or a recent episode of CSI, for me it recalled these lines of Whitman’s:

The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night
Ya Honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation;
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer,
I find purpose and place up there toward the November sky.

Perhaps those geese may soon stop by The Nemesis Bird where he has been Birding Octorara Lake in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. While he is seeing shorebirds there, in Mary’s Corner of the World, faraway in California, she is also seeing her share of shore birds with The Smaller Birds of the Coast Guard Station. But Bird Freak encountered a Horicon Marsh De-Rail-ment in his birding quest.

From The Birder’s Report we learn that Great Horned Owls are Masters of Their Domain. This humorous old children’s rhyme may tell us why.

There was an old owl who lived in an oak;
The more he heard, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird!

If humor is more your fare, you don’t need to turn on Loony tunes when you can just visit The Loony Bin at The Marvelous In Nature. Then visit Mary’s View where Mockingbirds Make Me Wonder will have you laughing, and crying as well as saying, “Aw-w-w-w!”

Henri Matisse may have painted “Madame Matisse, The Green Stripe” but Mary's View has the Green Heron in her Heron Overload.

Frank Lloyd Wright was a master architect who envisioned human dwellings that merged with their surroundings.

"The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before it was built." FLW

Well, the birds were way ahead of you, Frank, as seen by Aimophila Adventures in his report on Desert Swallows who make their homes in saguaros. And just about as far away from the desert as you can get, Nature Canada reports A Foothold for Piping Plovers in Ontario. These bird homes mesh just nicely with their surroundings, their own Taliesin’s of the bird world.

To combine art and birding is not so unusual. In the Wings Birding blog you can read about The Birds and The Bard Birding Tour, for Shakespeare often used bird imagery in his plays and sonnets, as seen below in these lines from Sonnet 29:

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

One of Goya’s most famous, yet horrifying paintings is that of Kronos devouring one of his children. It is also known as Saturn Devouring one of His Sons. Kronos is the Greek God of Time and was said to devour his children as Time devours the ages. In the Malaysian Birding Blog a new behavior is observed when a Gold-whiskered Barbet Eats a Eurasian Tree Sparrow. The image of this bird devouring the sparrow reminded me of this image by Goya.

In c.1615 Peter Paul Reubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder painted The Feast of Achelous depicting a scene where the river god serves up a feast to Theseus and his companions as they are returning from Crete. Gallicissa in Sri Lanka serves up an avian feast to his birding guests in a post he entitles, Making Emma Happy. His visual imagery reminds me of the feasting in the Rueben’s painting, though, I don’t believe there was any nudity going on! Then there is Ben Cruachan Natural History where the birds he sees are the ones feasting and they certainly have A Taste for Exotic Fare.

Whether you agree with him or not, Darwin has had a profound influence on birds, nature, and natural history. In line with his philosophy and theory we have these two entries. Living the Scientific Life: The Escalating Co-evolutionary Arms Race Between Cuckoos And Their Hosts takes you back to basics, while The Greenbelt is a tongue in cheek post about the discovery of A New Species. If humor is your style, check out the Darwin Awards.

N.C. Wyeth, Father of Andrew Wyeth, was a well known illustrator of Children’s books back in the mid 1900’s. He was working on this wall mural for the Met Life Insurance Company when he met his untimely death. If you happen to have some of these Tall Yard Birds come to your feeders or visit your yard, Audubon’s Birdscapes has some timely advice on how to keep them safe.

When it’s all said and done and your head is full of birds and birding, you may have what the Bird Chaser describes as BIADD. Perhaps then it is time for a session with Freud or Jung, though I don’t know if either of them could really help most of us obsessive birders. Perhaps we are all part of one collective bird consciousness and we are all connected. Perhaps that is why we recognize our own species when we see it!


Tom said...

Hi Kathie....
I am honoured to have a mention and a picture included in such a posting... when I started blogging little did I dream of such a thing happening to me.. Thank you.

As for this post it is fantastic and where as I have not read all yet... as I really need to follow the links. I know that I will be back here at the week end with note pad and pen and a smile on my face as big as a cheshire cat... and mentioning cat that remnds me of a poem I must send you.


Duncan said...

Nice job Kathie, well done!

bobbie said...

Haven't had a chance to try anywhere nearly all your links yet, but I had the most wonderful time with Pollock! Thank you for this post. Fun!!!

kjpweb said...

Lot's of home work! :)
Good job, Kathie! While giggling like a school girl on your comparison to Ansel Adams, I really got say - completely out of my depth!
But thanks anyway! :)
Cheers, Klaus

Texas Travelers said...

Just a quick note to say, "Thanks for the inclusion".

Really nice job on IATB.

Well, back to reading all of the links and stories and looking at the great photos.

Come visit anytime,
Troy and Martha

TR Ryan said...

I'm only a year old but this is definitely the best "I & the Bird" yet!!! Well done! Rumi for birders - nothing better!!!

Mary said...

Kathie, BRAVO! Yes, I agree with TR. The best yet. Thanks for including me.


Amy said...

Thanks, Kathie, for all the thought and time that went into this really interesting presentation.

And thanks to all the bloggers who submitted posts to the carnival!

Drew said...

Great edition!


Rambling Woods said...

Wow..This shows a lot of hard work. I haven't visited all the links yet, but I plan to. Thank you so much!

Amila Salgado said...

Great IATB Kathie,
I expected this edition would be good but you have surpassed my expectations. This is a lot of work! Thanks for sourcing the Feast of Achelous to go with my contribution. I enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Hi there - this is my first IATB and I am SO IMPRESSED! I love how you integrated all of the posts into a great narrative. WAY cool!

Deborah Godin said...

Ho-lee toledo! This post is a jackpot and a goldmine all rolled into one! You've touched on a couple of my favorite things (flocking birds, Rumi) right off the bat, and so many links! This will keep me busy for quite some time. Thanks!!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...


Fabulous job Kathie!! Very ambitious and well thought.

Redzlan said...

Hi Kathie!
Excelent presentation, beautiful narrative that woven all the link in a poetic words.

Larry said...

Hey Kathie,
What an incredible job you have done with this IATB! I can't imagine how many hours you devoted to this project but it was all well worth it. You may call it "Artsy Fartsy" but I was impressed and delighted with all the extra links, full of information. Thanks a bunch for a truly wonderful ride.

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I enjoyed reading it.

Mary C said...

Thanks, Kathie, for including my post. You must have spent hours putting this together. Wow!! Great theme! And very interesting reading.

Kathryn and Ari said...

I LOVE artsy-fartsy bird posts--keep them coming!!! And hooray for the Wyeth mention--I think they are all just fantastic.

Tyto Tony said...

Seldom can a birdo have flown higher and with more style. Bravo!

Larry said...

Wow-terrific job Kathie! I am going to enjoy reading these posts, many from blog blogs that I've never seen before!

Doug Taron said...

Awesome carnival! I'll be spending some time checking out all of your links. I really enjoyed the coupling of poetry with the submissions.

Pappy said...

Wow! What an undertaking. I'm impressed. Good to be back. Pappy

Anonymous said...

Great job Kathie, thanks for including my effort.

Tyto Tony said...

Great job, wide-ranging, informative and fun. Watch out, though, for the raven's master: Edgar Allan wouldn't be at his ease with fourth letter ees.

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Kathie - I'm sorry I'm so late on this! Thanks for featuring the swirly bird image I submitted. Imagine being in the same sentence with Jackson Pollack!
You did a great job on the post!