I’m not the only bird

Recently, a few people have asked me if I collect anything, and I have answered, ” Not really.”  Which is true. I don’t have collections in a proper, formal sense, as, say, a stamp collector would. However, after my chocolate exorcism en plein air, Spring Equilibrium I came home with a mind full of fresh air, and  fresh thoughts, and realised that I am not the only “bird” in my home. I live with a flock of them. For, unwittingly, I have been collecting birds for years; birds in all forms, except live. In fact, if my birds were living ones, I would be obliged to apply for a licence to operate an aviary.  That’s how many I own.

Take a peek at some of many feathered friends.

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather

I don’t know when I started collecting birds but one of my first bird purchases was a book, Birds of Fiji in Colour by W.J. Belcher. It was published in 1972, but the bird studies were painted between 1924 and 1935.( And, yes, our amazing  friends at Amazon still have the book http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Fiji-Colour-W-J-Belcher/dp/B000RH91NS)

Birds by Belcher

Birds by Belcher

William Belcher was born in England in 1883. He came to New Zealand at the age of three and spent the earlier part of his life here before moving to Fiji. He was mostly a self-taught artist  and he painted orchids as well as birds. And, he was not only a painter but a hotel licensee, money-lender, shooting gallery owner and a mechanic, as well. He died, and was buried, in Suva, Fiji in 1949. His collected works are owned by the Fiji Museum.

Birds of Fiji features 25 of Belcher’s paintings. I have selected two for my collage because they represent  very precious memories I have from  my amateurish, youthful bird watching. The illustrations are of the White Collared Kingfisher, Halcyon chloris, and the Blue Reef Heron , Demigretta sacra, or in Fijian, Belo. The White Collared Kingfisher was painted in 1931.There is no date for the Reef Heron.

Kingfisher and Heron

Kingfisher and Heron

I will finish with an observation attributed to William Belcher which is recorded in the Introduction to  Birds of Fiji ” He believed that most people saw only what they wanted to avoid bumping into, whereas only the odd person discovered form and shape.”  Rather apt considering how long it has taken me to realise that I collect birds 🙂 and not just ‘things’ to dust.

My special Penguin

My special Penguin

© silkannthreades

Advertisements

45 thoughts on “I’m not the only bird

  1. mmmarzipan

    How lovely! You have some beautiful things (doesn’t surprise me!). I haven’t collected things in a theme for a long time… then baby Cupcake arrived… and let’s just say, we have a little bakery themed shelf emerging in the nursery!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How cute! My children loved playing with mini wooden rolling pins that were bought especially for them. I still have them and actually use them because they are a handy size. I am imagining what little bakery items may be in the nursery 🙂

      Reply
  2. Clanmother

    This phrase caught my attention: “He believed that most people saw only what they wanted to avoid bumping into, whereas only the odd person discovered form and shape.” How perceptive. I am in the middle of reading a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. Her thoughts mirror this idea. It seems that the creative flow/urge comes via looking at things from a different perspective! BTW, I’m just back from my adventure and catching up with your wonderful posts!!! Hugs….

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Welcome back from your adventure. I have missed you. Can’t wait to read more posts with your unique perspective. Speaking of perspective, that line jumped out at me. It is interesting how different words demand our attention each time we re read a book. I had not found it remarkable until this latest read.

      Reply
  3. Tracy Rhynas

    I love birds and constantly marvel at their beauty (even the little brown ones!). You have a lovely variety keeping you company in your home, my favourite is the green ceramic one. Also love the kingfisher illustration you chose from the book too – he’s beautiful – I haven’t met a kingfish that wasn’t beautiful. Funny what we collect around us without realising.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Even the little brown ones are lovely; it’s true. I am glad you like the green ceramic bird; she is from Cairo and the rest of her family are blue or white or black… sort of kingfisher colours all separated out. I haven’t seen a kingfisher for years and years ,so it was fun getting to know one again through the book. And it’s not only funny what we collect but a little bit scary too; how the collections get away on us without our knowing.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you! I have more hens tucked away in boxes somewhere. My husband would like real hens but our neighbours would not!!!!! And I think I would not although I believe they are very intelligent and sociable.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Ah yes, cats and perhaps ferrets or wild things like that. I think we are actually allowed, by city by laws, to have 2 hens (with cage) but it would still be annoying to neighbours I think. And, of course, our cat and dog would want to chase them all day long.

  4. teamgloria

    we came looking for daffodils but found yummy chocolate cake, birds, daisies and a limerick (which are all splendid)

    but *could* there be daffodils soon?

    *pleadinglook*

    we love daffodils. they don’t seem to grow here.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Why, of course! How did you know that only an hour ago I was taking photos of daffodils at a place which is heavenly. Post coming soon 🙂 I was hoping that the daffodils would be many, but they were not…yet.

      Reply
  5. Marylin Warner

    What a wild, lovely variety! My grandmother had pillows and samplers with crewel alphabets and numbers in the center, but instead of flower borders, she had birds. And my mother’s first quilt she learned to make was pink and green borders around 6″x8″ blocks, one type of bird in each. I continued the theme by painting bird houses–lots of them–to imitate the house I grew up in, my grandparents’ house, etc. There’s something wonderful about birds, and I loved this post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Your artwork and craftwork are music to my senses. Do you still have any of it? Just sounds so delightful. Thank you for loving my post. I love your comment 🙂

      Reply
  6. Letizia

    What a beautiful collection! I especially like the penguin- it must be wonderful to hold in one’s hand as well.
    The book is great – I will explore it more.

    I just saw a fantastic exhibit of bird photography by Eliot Porter at the MoMA in NYC – I didn’t know of him before so it was an unexpected treat!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      You are right; the penguin fits beautifully and comfortably in my hand. I love holding it and stroking it and watching the light play through it. I didn’t know about Eliot Porter either, until now, but your heart must have skipped and jumped for joy when you saw his photographs. I have looked at a few online and they are absolutely extraordinary.

      Reply
  7. Main Street Musings Blog

    What a stunning collection. I recently had the good fortune to see penguins in their natural habitat in Paracas, Peru. The penguins were waddling along side thousands of sea birds scattered across the rocky islands. The Peruvians collect the guano and use it as fertilizer.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. That must have been a wonderful sight. The only penguins I have seen in the wild are little blue penguins. And it was so dark by the time they came ashore, that it was hard to see them at all!

      Reply
  8. Joanne Jamis Cain

    I love your bird collection! I collect vintage linens, especially old tablecloths. I love them and I think it’s because they remind me of my grandmother.
    The birds of Fiji book looks beautiful. I am a big fan of water birds, especially herons.
    Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
    Joanne

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Vintage linens; so lovely. Now you will have me taking out my linens to show you! Not that I have many but I love each one of them.Some of them did belong to my grandmother! I haven’t looked at that book for years. It was really enjoyable to read it again.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. I had so many photos that I thought it best to show them in a collage format. No, the penguin isn’t crying but I do think it looks a little downhearted. It was a gift from my daughter from a trip she took to our West Coast.

      Reply
  9. Just Add Attitude

    Now that’s strange because I also have a bird collection – glass, pottery, zinc … Mine too is an accidental collection and I didn’t realize I had it until I started to think about packing up stuff for my move. Lovely collages BTW.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t moved now for nearly 14 years (help, is it that long?) so I think that may be one of the reasons I had forgotten how many birds live with me. When you have to pack things and move them, one really does pay attention to what one owns, and how much one owns!! I am so glad to know you are an accidental collector of birds, too. 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s