#TBT #Throwback Thursday
Some of our ancestors came from Stewarton, Scotland, and this photo of our current road here in the New World looks amazingly similar. The ancient postcard was found in a family pix and papers pile unearthed at Thanksgiving by Cousin Liz. Thanks Be.
Our road was photographed by Dana Pickard, who leads the wide-awake life.
Below it is the ancient postcard from Stewarton, Scotland. Take out the telephone wires (every storm tries to, so why not!!), lay down a narrow line of the fence-like dry stone walls–called “Drystane Dykes” in Scotland–pull out our tumble-down stone walls, and I might mistake my place for their’s.
I don’t know who’s toddling doon the auld road in Stewarton Scotland in the postcard, but I’m imagining days of “no thought nor care, where they lay doon at nicht efter having said oor wee prayer and in the morn play at the games that are noo so rare.” (Robert Morrison’s memories in the Ayrshire Notes.) And I think, why it’s the same with me, on my road that looks like our ancestral road in Scotland.
Draw a clock in the dirt to find North,
point the hour hand at the sun
& the line that bisects the angle between the hour hand & 12:00
will be a north to south one. Easier than ID-ing birds (Bird North)
unless you’re a Mr Audubon who shoots & stuffs them 1st.
At certain times of the year they’re
tiny/big, tan/gray with a smear/stripe/dot
of yellow/green/blue with a white eye ring/wing bar.
Maybe draw them in the dirt?
THIS IS A FABULOUS YOUTUBE FOR LEARNING BIRDS!! (Did you try the draw-a-clock-in-the-dirt thing yet? Maybe it’s a little harder than I represent in the 420 above. 🙂 Just in case? Carry a compass and a GPS. ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuAOc6I9jhA&list=PL852BE01ADF00B358&feature=share
A quick Bird ID for Dummies site (my name for it, actually it’s the Mass Audubon’s tips for id-ing winter birds–a whole other can of worms, er, gaggle of geese.)
If you can’t shoot and stuff them, how DO you learn the difference between a Purple and a House Finch or a Brown Thrasher and a Cuckoo? Or a good guy and a bad guy? What’s “North” for Palestinians and Israelis, Ukrainians and Ethnic Russians, Republicans and Democrats? John Kerry, how do YOU maintain your North? (a mostly bird and compass related 420-character, 9-line poem)
photo by Doreen Orciari who has an eye for such
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks–leaf-gleaners dressed in shocking black, white, and red, are mostly heard, wished for, but not seen. Except here. (A 420 Character, 9-Line Poem by Patty)
Exclamation marks for the mind and heart,
that’s what an unexpected sighting of a loved one is for me.
For example, this Rose-breasted Grosbeak here?
Daintily sipping seed and suet
when usually he bellies up to the bar out in the woods? Hidden?
The serendipity sight of him pulls up a jolt of joy.
Just like when the man who sings* to me
comes home early or shows up where I am, but he usually isn’t.
An exclamation mark!
*Like the Rose-breasted Grosbeak he too has sweet, rambling songs with only the occasional “chink.”
http://youtu.be/vqEIbXVjlIM (the plain, brown and white, stripy dame who shows up here is, you guessed it, the wife of the dapper Mr. Rose-breasted Grosbeak. But that’s another 420!!)