Archive for the Biographies Category

Carl Orff – Music Composer

Posted in Biographies, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2020 by Drogo

Music composer and educator Carl Orff was born in Munich, Germany in 1895. When Carl was 29 he co-founded a school of gymnastics, dance, and music in Munich. Carl Orff’s teaching work at the school reflected his interest in musical education for children. As with Wagner and Mascagni, Orff’s work was sponsored by Fascists for nationalist propaganda.

 

Carl Orff created major works for theater stages including operas (‘The Moon’) and musical plays. Carl also wrote chamber music. Three of his cantatas are called ‘Trionfi’ (Triumphs). The first composition, ‘Carmina Burana’ (Songs of Beuron) was written in 1937, and consists of songs set to medieval texts. Orff used poems by the Roman poet Catullus in the second cantata, ‘Catulli Carmina’ (Songs of Catullus, 1943). Finally in ‘Trionfo di Aphrodite’ (The Triumph of Aphrodite, 1953), Orff compiled texts by Catullus and the Greek writers Sappho and Euripides. Orff’s style in the ‘Trionfi’ was based on rhythmic propulsion; melodies and chants in changing meters of tempo and volume over the matching motor rhythms of instrumental ostinatos.

 

Orff’s obsession with rhythm led him to develop a method to train young children by means of percussion instruments. Carl Orff used asian and medieval scales, as well as texts in several languages sung simultaneously or in overlapping rounds. In his master-pieces Orff combines instrumental music, singing, gesture, syncopation, and dance into unified spectacles. Sometimes his music emphasizes folk music harmonies. However his powerful percussive rhythms drive a heavy orchestral signature; so like Richard Wagner before him, and Basil Poledouris after him, Orff’s unique sound stands out from less bombastic popular themes.

 

‘Carmina Burana’ has been used in modern films like ‘Excalibur’, ‘The Doors’, and ‘Shadow of the Wolf’. It is also even used for commercials for films, even when not actually in the sound-tracks (‘Ravenous’). If not for Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’, these movies would only be half as dramatic. Orff summed up his theories in an impressive 5-volume book called ‘Music For Children’ (1934). He revised his book in 1954, and died in 1982.

Pietro Mascagni – Opera Composer

Posted in Biographies, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Recommendations & Tributes, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2020 by Drogo

Pietro Mascagni the Italian composer was born in Leghorn, Italy. Pietro lived from 1863 to 1945. He studied in Leghorn and at the Milan Conservatory. In 1888 Mascagni entered a musical competition. Pietro presented his first one-act opera, ‘Cavelliers Rusticana’, and won first prize. Although he wrote many other operas, the other two most performed are ‘L’Amico Fritz’ (1891), and ‘Iris’ (1898). Not only did his other works lack the same enthusiasm, but they were pounded by critics. Mascagni suffered continual attacks from critics during his career, although he is one of the most famous composers. Mascagni and his beloved Italy fell under Fascist rule, duty bound to serve patriotically or be branded an enemy of the state.

 

The music of ‘Iris’ is the epitome of operatic atmosphere, as the dramatic sounds create emotional visuals. The last part of ‘Iris’ is perhaps the most sensual, as the dying body of the main character is dragged from the sewers and lies crippled; as slowly the magnificent Sun rises to meet and take her away from all this earthly suffering and discord. As the basses, violins, and horns combine to form emotional melodies; an undertone of raw passion and omnipotent renewal is created. Also the opera is filled with powerful, theatrical libretto (words). ‘Iris’ truly reflects the inspiration and cool flow of the Aesthetic movement.

 

When asked who were the greatest composers of all time, Mascagni replied “Wagner and I”, without hesitation. Pietro Mascagni was physically and socially impressive, and matched only by Toscanini on the podium. Operas flowed from Pietro’s pen, and he became the official composer for Fascist Italy. Mascagni had a fighting spirit, but became disgraced publicly by the critics; and was replaced by Giacomo Puccini. Looking back Mascagni said “It has been a bitter, relentless struggle; and I have surely not spared myself or succumbed to unworthy influences… I was not wanted; my best efforts were scorned; yet I went on writing for the sake of Italian opera, which is after all, one of the chief glories of our country”. Mascagni was a poetic nationalist to the end. Despite his critics, Mascagni is remembered as a sensitive artist, dramatic visionary, and musical poet.

Lord George Byron – Poet

Posted in Biographies, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2020 by Drogo

lord byron turbin

George Gordon Byron was born in London, England to nobility. He lived from 1788 to 1824, and was a radical flamboyant and notorious liberal leader in world literature and politics during the early Romantic Movement and Historic Revival period. The first ten years of his life were spent with his mother in Scotland. Byron’s father had abandoned his family and died when young George Byron was only three years old. When young Byron was ten, his great-uncle died leaving George with the family title of ‘Lord’ Byron. Young Lord Byron returned to England, where he attended the Harrow School, and eventually Cambridge University.

In 1807 Lord Byron published his first book of poems, ‘Hours of Idleness’; which was severely criticized by the Edinburgh Review (a Scottish literary magazine). ‘Hour of Idleness’ was primarily a collection of educated romantic proses expected of young contemporary poets; but Byron was clearly more rebellious. Byron responded to his critics, using satirical witty and biting style in his ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers’, where he attacked almost every notable literary author and critic. Byron wrote the first two cantos (sections) of ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ as fiction, using Edmund Spenser’s literary style. Soon Byron’s work mainly reflected his own experiences and early gothic revival sentiments.

From 1809 to 1811, Lord George Byron traveled through southern Europe and parts of the Near East. In 1815 Byron married Anne Isabella Milbanke. Their brief, turbulent, and unhappy marriage ended the same year; partly due to rumors of George’s incest with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, and all the public gossip about his many former affairs as well. Byron departed from England forever in 1816, and moved to Switzerland and Italy. 

At the Villa Diodati in Switzerland 1816, Byron hosted his most historic party. For three rainy summer days and stormy nights, five friends became ghostly writers. The writers were Byron, his personal physician John Polidori, famous poet Percy Shelley, Mary Godwin (Percy’s future wife), and her step-sister Claire Clairmont with whom Byron already had a daughter. The five read gothic stories (including Fantasmagoriana), and wrote their own. Percy Shelley wrote ‘A Fragment of a Ghost Story’ and five ghost stories recounted by Matthew “Monk” Lewis. Mary Shelley wrote what would become ‘Frankenstein’, and Byron wrote ‘A Fragment’, on which Polidori based ‘The Vampyre’ (decades before Bram Stoker’s 1897 ‘Dracula’). That same month Byron visited Chillon Castle with Percy Shelley. ‘Prisoner of Chillon’ (1816) was Byron’s gothic classic, full of haunting morbidity.

Then Byron visited Venice, where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture aided by monks. He also carried on a long romance with the Countess Teresa Guiccioli. ‘Manfred’ (1817) dramatizes independence, and the nature of intellectual integrity for personal responsibility. ‘Cain’ (1821) is similar to Manfred, challenging divine will as people interpret it in their own ideas of right and wrong. ‘Don Juan’ (1820) might be his most famous poem. It is a satirical master-piece written in a colloquial, brilliant, and flexible style. It makes an epic hero of a legendary lover, who has epic comic moments. Most importantly Byron tells his story with shifting emotional tone; expressing anger at deceptions and cruelty, sadness over loss, and hope despite incarceration. Lord Byron became involved in revolutionary politics in Italy.

In 1823 Byron (like many others) decided to join the Greeks in their war for independence from the Turks. On April 19th of 1824, after a brief but fatal fever sickness, Lord Byron died without witnessing the success of the Greek revolution. As a romantic revivalist, Lord Byron clearly set the stage for later liberal arts leaders like Poe, Morris, Ruskin, Romantic painters, and other Victorians.

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THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.

My hair is grey, but not with years,

Nor grew it white ⁠⁠In a single night,

As men’s have grown from sudden fears:

My limbs are bowed, though not with toil,

⁠But rusted with a vile repose,

For they have been a dungeon’s spoil,

⁠And mine has been the fate of those

To whom the goodly earth and air

Are banned, and barred—forbidden fare;⁠

But this was for my father’s faith

I suffered chains and courted death;

That father perished at the stake

For tenets he would not forsake;

And for the same his lineal race

In darkness found a dwelling place;

We were seven—who now are one,

⁠Six in youth, and one in age,

Finished as they had begun,

⁠Proud of Persecution’s rage;

One in fire, and two in field,

Their belief with blood have sealed,

Dying as their father died,

For the God their foes denied;—

Three were in a dungeon cast,

Of whom this wreck is left the last.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Posted in Biographies, Book Reports, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2020 by Drogo

John Greenleaf Whittier was a famous American poet, statesman, abolitionist, and naturalist. John was a distant cousin to my great-grandmother, Bertha Whittier Stowell. His best known poems fall into two main types: those attacking slavery (abolitionist), and those praising the charms of New England country life (naturalist).

Often called ‘the Quaker poet’, John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. His parents were Quaker farmers. Whittier’s poetry shows the influence of his Quaker religion, and rural New England background. One major influence upon his style, was the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Like Burns, Whittier wrote many ballads on rural themes; but Whittier’s wit was not as bitterly sharp as Burns.

John G. Whittier was an active abolitionist in politics, especially from 1833 to 1863. As part of the anti-slavery movement, he called for the abolition of slavery in newspaper articles; not just in his poetry. Whittier did all this, while serving in the Massachusetts legislature in 1835. The abolitionist cause dominated his poetry. In ‘The Moral Warfare’ (1838) and ‘Massachusetts To Virginia’ (1843), John Whittier bombarded the injustices of slavery in society. He also condemned what he viewed as the national hypocrisy; the problem of being founded on the ideals of freedom, yet allowing slavery.

John Greenleaf Whittier criticizes Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, in his political poem ‘Ichabod’ (1850). Senator Webster (who is also a distant relative of mine) took part in the ‘Compromise of 1850’, in which run-away slaves had to be returned to their owners, no questions asked. Whittier used a restrained, dignified tone that makes ‘Ichabod’ less an offensive attack on Webster, than an expression of sympathy for his idiotic mistake.

There are three ballads in which Whittier shows his interest in the customs, legends, rural settings, and the people of New England. The earlier two are called ‘Skipper Ireson’s Ride’ (1857) and ‘Telling The Bees’ (1858). The third was his later master-piece named ‘Snow-Bound’ (1866). ‘Snow-Bound’ tells of a family marooned in their farm-house during a giant blizzard. It was his affectionate lengthy descriptions of Quaker life, combined with a rhyming prose style, that made his verses easy to follow and popular; like a classic fire-side tale being spun. In his poem, Whittier’s delicate organization and brilliant lyrical verbosity, transcends the confines of a page. ‘Snow-bound’ toys with the merry whims and remembrances of anyone who has ever spent a snowy winter in New England and survived; even long after it was written.

Audio Recording of this article

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Barbara Frietchie

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple- and peach-tree fruited deep,
Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,
On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain wall,—
Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,
Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;
In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.
Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced: the old flag met his sight.
“Halt!”— the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
“Fire!”— out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf;
She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.
“Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country’s flag,” she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;
The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman’s deed and word:
“Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!” he said.
All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:
All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;
And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Frietchie’s work is o’er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.
Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall’s bier.
Over Barbara Frietchie’s grave
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!
Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;
And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!
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  • more to be added later 

 

Arthurian Legends

Posted in Biographies, Pagan, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2020 by Drogo

Allusions to the paradigmatic (original) Arthur, from related Welsh & Irish traditions

[ notes from my RWU Mythology text book p,211 ]

Fionn of southern Ireland (Leinster); 2 Old Welsh Poems (600 AD)

Historia of Nennius (800 AD) – Arthur fought Celtic Kings of the Isle of Britain in the time of Octha, son of Hengist. Dux Bellorum (Commander of Armies) 12 Victories: Battle of Mt Badon, in one he killed 960 men himself in one day.

Mirabilia of the Historia: Tomb of Amir (his son) in south-east Wales

Culhwch and Owen (1100): Glewlwyd was there when Arthur conquered Greece to the Orient. Had been in India, Africa, and Corsica Islands. It was believed Arthur was still alive and would return. during troll and boar hunt, stone bears the paw print of Cabal (Arthur’s dog)

Annales Cambriae (900 AD): battle of Camlann, where Arthur and Medrawd fell

Lives of Saints (1000-1100): Arthur was pivotal ruler

Vita Gildae: reunited with Gwenhwyfar kidnapped by Melwas.

Welsh Poem 1: refers to Pwyll and Pryderi, cauldron of Chief of Annwn, Arthur and men sail to Caer Siddi (Irish-Sidh). Of 3 full ships only 7 men return.

Welsh Poem 2: Glewlwyd, Cai, Bedwyr, Manawydan son of Llyr, Mabon son of Modron, Arthur is Emperor. Peredur, Owain, Gereint were knights. Celtic Maponus and Matrona.

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia (1136): knowledge, combat, wealth.

 

[ more to come ]

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B.D.U.: Boot Camp Diary Unauthorized

Posted in Biographies, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2019 by Drogo

Title – BDU: Bootcamp Diary Unauthorized
Subtitle – My Un-Official Air Force BMT Journal

This non-fiction historical book is a real 2006 memoir and analysis of Air Force Basic Training (BMT), including some personal auto-biographical experiences and opinions. This journal has been made public to document the psychological treatment of young soldiers by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) training system. It is based on a secret diary inside an official notebook that the author kept during training, despite constant antagonism by the Training Sergeants (TIs). While not every experience is included in this first edition for Amazon, it is unabridged compared to the official summary edition submitted to commanding officers. This more expressive version contains strong adult language. Airman Stowell (also author of ‘Operation 10 COW’) provides specific details and general summaries from original notes and actual documents about BMT, and is both honest and patriotic. Mouth-piece propaganda for our conventional establishment will seek to discredit authentic journals like this, as individual civil rights are threatening to authoritarians who want ritual hazing and brain-washing to be a confidential surprise (despite films showing historical accounts dramatized, see ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket’). It is the US ‘War On Terror’ training version of war time stories that have been attacked for showing realism in their home countries (see Solzhenitsyn & Grossman). There is no top secret information revealed here, but it is a personal perspective for national self-reflection about the unethical tyranny of psychologically conditioning soldiers to perpetually operate on hate, anger, and fear. If you like this type of work, please write a supportive comment on Amazon’s sales page for ‘BDU The Book‘, thank you!

Long live our American ideals of freedom, democracy, and peace!!!

“I’m a historian by profession. I’ve probably read several thousand journals and diaries in my time, including ones by soldiers and others living through the Revolution, Civil War, Spanish American War, and others. This book reads true, both in content and form. One would expect a diary to be disjointed and have a grammar glitch or two here or there. Someone undergoing the physical and intellectual traumas of this type, and writing on the run to boot, is not going to write with the polish of a Victorian sitting at his desk on Beacon Hill.” – thank you so much Professor Michael Swanson

Listen to an Audiomack recording – BDU Book Reading

Please show support even by simply clicking that the nice reviews were helpful, as most consumer critics do not care what their words mean to the author, and do not take into account the pains of writing and publishing controversial content.

AF BMT 1b

 

 

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Pot Bib – Corn King Sparrow

Posted in Biographies, Nature Studies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2019 by Drogo

Last winter a loud male house sparrow spent most of his waking time sitting in the potted plant where we put small bits of corn. Other sparrows would come, but he would usually chase them out, and get into fights with other males (one time wounding him). We call male sparrows ‘bibs’ because of their black beard-like feathers, and birds that sit in pots for long hours we call ‘pot birds’ (it happens occasionally). So we named him Pot Bib, because he seemed to prefer sitting in the pot to all else.

Pot Bib’s first goal in life seemed to be to claim the pot as his home during the day, and at night he would sometimes sleep in a nearby abandoned robin’s nest. I had witnessed the robin’s nest getting raided by a crow, who looked for nests under gutter-down-spout corners in between balconies like that one. Pot Bib added grass to the nest, and slept in it for many early spring nights; so he could wake up and be right in the pot again. Starlings also raided the nest just for materials, and still Pot Bib would often sleep there, but also at another roost somewhere else. After a few weeks, Pot Bib lost interest in the nest as no mate wanted to risk the location probably.

Pot Bib’s second goal in life was to have a mate, and he did have a girl-friend who he allowed to eat corn, hang around, and chase him out of the pot. When the weather got warmer, Pot Bib got another life-style away from the pot; but still returns and chirps in his insane way every day.

I made a nest in a small wooden basket with a handle for Pot Bib on Easter (Ostara). In the basket I put mud half way up, then stuck in tiny twigs, wove in grasses and pine needles, and cushioned with chick-weed and yarrow. I thought that either Pot Bib or the house finches that come would take it, but our familiar mourning doves claimed it instead; but that is the story of Lucky the Dove.

potbib basket nest

 

Lucky the Dove – Biography

Posted in Biographies, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Nature Studies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2019 by Drogo

Lucky the Fledgling Dove – journal notes of the biography of Lucky’s youth

Lucky 11

Close Call Adventures of Lucky

 

Lucky’s parents are ‘3 Dots’ and ‘Neuro’, friendly wild mourning doves. Lucky was the second of two eggs they laid in a nest I made in a small basket (see the story of Pot Bib),  and hung under the eve of the balcony, near the back wall. lucky hatched May 12th 2019 on Mother’s  Sunday. I checked on the babies every other day and petted them. When they were just eggs the parent flew away immediately when I  approached. after the eggs hatched the parent stayed on the nest and would let me pet the parent with some Wing slaps. I wanted to get the babies familiar with me so I moved the nest to the floor of the balcony For a few minutes before putting it back,  and only then would the parent Fly Away.

 

Lucky was 5 days old,  friday May 17th

sibling got taken by a crow. Lucky brought inside for the night, attempted feeding, partially successful, Lucky swallowed some of the last attempts. 

Lucky remained safe in the nest now relocated hidden under the bench, parents resumed feeding.

Lucky 6

randomly a red-shouldered Hawk was chased by a Crow, both landed on adjacent roof looking in at balcony, i scared them off.

 

Lucky was 9 days old

I attempted to put an ID band on Lucky’s leg, but we didnt have anything that would work as well as professionals use. I tried using a white twist-tie and rubber band, but getting the correct tightness was much harder than i thought it would be, so i gave up. 

At dusk, at edge of balcony Lucky jumped fledging for food.

looked on ground and in tree but could not see. missing all night 

 

Lucky was 10 days old

morning mowers Machines of death,  looked all around, upon feeding branch baby was found. i climbed the fledging tree four times during this period. I had checked on Lucky and was content it would be fine on the feeding branch. However when i returned a few hours later, it had been knocked out of tree (i assume by Crow), and went under car. I chased Lucky around the car, and caught it, and put it in nesting box to bring back inside.

  Bath time. Practiced wing flapping.

At night back inside  in cage, and in our hands attempted feeding. Lucky Dovey was calm except for when we played a video of adult doves. Lucky responded to the video by peeping vocally and lunging towards the screen. Lucky touched the screen with its beak and could not get to them, and after being amused for a minute or so, we turned it off so that it could calm down. Dovey and me fell asleep on couch, Lucky was on my belly, in a bundle lap pillow with tissues.

Luck 10

Lucky was 11 days old

I took lucky outside in the morning and we waited for its parents to come to the tree.  I sat in a chair reading a book while babysitting, lucky sat on my arm. people looked at me strangely, but I am not afraid to explain when I am trying to help an animal.  when the mother came it walked around lucky at the base of the tree, but would not feed lucky. the parents flew up into the tree, and lucky followed.  amazingly lucky was able to fly 5 ft up to the nearest branch, and climb and hop and fly up to the feeding branch. Hawk came in trees while feeding at feeding branch in morning.  Crow landed between balconies, while being attacked by Mockingbird, and looked into the balconies to find food. I moved lucky back to balcony. I got lucky onto a stick, and then my arm. Lucky hung to my back while i jumped down from tree, safely.

In cage on balcony, Lucky and Daddy ‘3 Dots’ could not solve the puzzle for feeding through a partially Open Door.  lucky did make it out of the partially open door once for one of three feedings that day. Three dots spent one hour going to the sides of the cage and cooing while both were peeping. lucky gets into a Feeding Frenzy most X it is called to by parents,  except for the time lucky spent in the nest again rest in 4 hours. during this time it ignored it’s parents and stayed in the nest like it did when it was a younger baby. I let Lucky out of the cage when I knew the parent was nearby and thought it might feed it.  three dots watched for a long time while babysat and both called when lucky was in the center of the balcony. lucky was able to push open the door once but seems to forget how it got in perhaps because Dove minds are not as sharp as crows who can use tools and unlock door mechanisms.  the large black birds soaring in the sky or probably turkey vultures because they did not flap as often as crows do, but ominously watched from the stadium lights which are taller than all the trees. Bath time. Practiced wing flapping and hunting for seeds with Noel.

 

At sunset I wanted to be generous and allow the parent a final chance to come on the balcony and feed the baby,  but like last time the parent was more interested in calling the baby to come to them. so I told the baby to call to the parents and get them to come to it.  as usual I allowed lucky a way to get out of the cage for feeding and fly away if it could. as dark approached and the father cooed , Lucky woke up into another Feeding Frenzy,  which surprised me because it had been so sleepy on the Nest earlier, and even when we were playing with it. eventually lucky looked straight at me through the open cage door, and burst through.  lucky sat on the bench cushion for a few seconds, and I sat there looking back at lucky, knowing lucky might chase after the cooes and leave the balcony. lucky gave me one last look, and leapt off of the cushion and over the railing,  flying all the way to the top of the nearby tree. when I went out to look and climbed for a fourth time, I think I scared the parents and lucky off to another tree, because even with the flashlight I could not find lucky, so I gave up for the night.  lucky continues to amaze me by how well it can fly when it wants to, even without adult feathers. Lucky’s juvenile feathers work amazingly well and may allow lucky to follow its parents around.

Lucky is 12 days old today,  and hopefully getting more feedings to grow faster if it is able to be with the parents more often. this morning the sweet air was fresh, the green of the tree leaves bright, and the branches moved in the breeze. I have seen Lucky’s parents, but no sign of Lucky. I hope Lucky survives and learns enough to live a long happy life, even if i never see Lucky again.

Lucky is 13 days old on Saturday, May 25

I walked around the block 3x today and did not see Lucky. It was not until dusk, after a rain shower, when i was going out to the store, that I spotted Lucky on the bedroom gable peak. Its parents were on the ground, cooing to Lucky to get down because it was too vulnerable up there in clear view. However Lucky learned from me how to dry off in the sun, and has a mind of its own. I recognized Lucky because it does not have mature feathers on its neck yet, so in silhouette has a very thin neck. We confirmed with binoculars for about 20 minutes. Two crows passed directly over Lucky, but Lucky did not flinch and they were not interested. I am so proud of Lucky, i think it will be ok. Then Lucky flew into the fledging tree, near the top, presumably for the night. As darkness fell, i spotted the mother in the center of the tree.

It seems Lucky may have spent yesterday high up in the fledging tree, where i could not see or get to it easily. It is also possible Lucky went to a few other trees and bushes, and I may have seen Lucky in a bush, but it could have been a robin fledgling since i saw 2 or 3 of them. I also saw a catbird and robin on a nest in bushes. The mulberry tree in back has many ground level berries, they are good. I am satisfied knowing that Lucky is doing well, and is not lost.

Lucky is 14 days old

Possible Lucky sighting in chickweed pot, but bird was gone before confirmed.

 

Lucky is 20 days old, June 1

Lucky sighted on roof of adjacent condo in the morning. Then before dusk sighted up close within 3 feet, and close enough to almost touch, in the juniper bush on the retaining wall of the parking lot. It is a great defensive bush, because it is prickly, with room in the branches for a small bird to walk around, with a fence in the middle for it to go in and out of to avoid larger animals who get in one side of the bush. When i returned, Lucky was sitting just outside the bush, and then flew up to the nearby redbud tree when approached. Catbirds, Mockingbirds, and Robins help the dove parents to guard the area.

 

Lucky might be 26, June 7

I found clumps of feathers that might belong to a baby or juvenile bird (dove, robin, mocking, or catbird) in a 3′ diameter in the lawn area near the tot-lot and 3 pines and yard bushes. No body, or body parts, or blood were found, and it was mainly small fluff, to a few medium feathers (grey with white tip). Lucky may have been attacked by a hawk or something, but no conclusive proof just evidence and speculation. It may have happened earlier this day, or a day or two before. I got a video of one of the doves on the Grey Pot. Towards dusk (8pm) two doves came to the balcony and got water as usual, but this time sat on the grey pot together and shook their wings like babies begging with wing-flaps, rather than mating (because they both did it and faced opposite directions at one point). Was one of them Lucky? Perhaps they were apologizing for failing as parents, if it was Lucky that was attacked and killed, they might regret not keeping Lucky closer to me like i wanted for better protection. I have to face the fact that Lucky could die any day at any moment that i am not near Lucky, whether it already happened or may happen later, until they are adults (1-15 years) young doves are more likely to die. The parents go under the bench near the nest basket and eat the corn we left there. If Lucky is missing, perhaps the parents think i will give them back Lucky like we did in the past when we were able to take Lucky inside for protection? Now the parent doves are perched under the railing at the edge of the balcony. Either they are telling Lucky it is ok to come visit now and drink water and eat as an adult; or they are saying good-bye to Lucky’s spirit, if Lucky has died or has gone off on adventures with a flock of other juveniles. I do not know where Lucky is (until I can identify their dot patterns better) in any case. 

 

Days 27-30+, June 8-11

There have been a few sightings and much speculation about whether Lucky has stayed here locally or is gone far away. I have either seen Lucky come with a parent, or maybe it was a different dove couple visiting. A few times a third adult-looking dove has tried to come with Lucky’s parents to the balcony area, but each time the third dove was chased off (probably by 3 dots). The third dove was either another child of theirs returning, a rival mate, or Lucky.

 

Lucky is over 50 days,  

I am 50% sure that the dove coming with 3-dots is either Lucky or its Mom. If it is Lucky where is the Mom, on a nest? If it is the Mom why is she slightly scaled (slightly mottled) and not as sleek and elegant? Either way 3-dots is comfortable with them, as they sometimes come together without incident and with some affection (subtle wing wiggle and close proximity). Nothing can be confirmed, as comparisons would best be made if the parents came together with Lucky (all 3 would be present to differentiate).

 

Lucky is over 60 days

I am 70% sure that Lucky Dove has been visiting its birth balcony for weeks now. Confusion over identification has been due to post-30 day juvenile-adult behavior, plumage, and social changes. Lucky now acts and looks like a molting adult (barely mottled), and while timid with short visits resembling the appearance and behavior of its mother or other doves, Lucky does display unique traits of familiarity that would not be present in any other dove in this combination.

If this disheveled light tan colored multi-dot dove is Lucky, the puffing and preening on adjacent Thomas’ Gable might be Lucky a bit uncomfortable with its new adult feathers which are still scaled (slightly mottled). Communication was made with Lucky for several minutes, while preening on Thomas’s Gable, which helped increase the identity percentage. Lucky’s mother would have flown away at that distance (15 feet from Gable to balcony edge), and there is no other dove besides 3-dots that would have tolerated being called to and observed in that spot, at that distance, for so long. In fact I got tired of talking to Lucky and using the binoculars, so i sat down on the bench in hopes Lucky would come visit with me there because i was calmly still; however Lucky flew across to the Trash Condo balconies eventually.

When Lucky comes and drinks and bathes in the water, I am trying to play my recordings of Lucky begging with its Dad, to see if Lucky responds to those sounds with behavior indicating affectionate memory. Other experiments maybe attempted, despite lacking a DNA tester or id tag or bands. I have now examined the dots of all 3 doves with zoom lens magnification, and have drawn diagrams to distinguish them. I am over 90% Lucky is alive and has been one of the doves visiting. Lucky’s left side has two dots touching (one over the other) at the back of the wing, which is a signature matching her baby photos. Lucky has the most dots of the 3.

Possible reasons for Lucky missing from the balcony area for about 20 days – Lucky might have been scared away by the parents during the juvenile period that parental feeding was ending; if Lucky was following them and begging, they might have been trying to get it to stop. Lucky might have been scared away by the parents after they were done feeding it, not only to get it to stop but also to get it to move to another area. Lucky may have had to hang out by itself or with other juveniles, until it learned not to beg from adults. Now that Lucky does not beg for food and is able to find food on its own, the parents may tolerate or enjoy its presence again. 3-dots seems to actually enjoy being with Lucky when they come, drink, look for food a bit or bathe, and leave together.

July 30, 2019 – Lucky has been coming with it’s Mom in recent days.  This has allowed me to compare the two doves together. Lucky looks very similar it’s Mom with multiple dots, however there are 3 main differences. (1) Lucky is lighter in feather color (tan) and the Mom is darker (grey); although some warm days doves look more brown-tan than grey. Lucky’s feet are smooth bright pink-red, but the parents have ‘aged’ rough red feet, (2) Lucky has a slimmer neck with less feathers, and puffy cheeks by the black mark. Lucky has less iridescence on the neck too. (3) Lucky is still slightly smaller, although it must have gotten its adult feathers soon after 30 days. Lucky’s mottled feather scaling is now gone.

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January 2020 – Lucky still visits with or without parents most weeks. Lucky was missing during the first part of the Winter, but came back to the balcony for the first snow. Seeing the landscape covered in white must have been confusing, and harder to locate food. It is amazing birds survive winters, but they learn how to dig and peck around in snow and ice. The three doves and Pot Bib the sparrow are semi-tame or semi-wild, because they know to some extent they are safe on the balcony, and they keep returning. Some days they are braver than others, like when they sit for hours, or insist on returning while we are out on the balcony, or choose to lay eggs and nest (silly doves). We still have not been able to touch Lucky since she got her adult flight feathers; but maybe someday a wild semi-tame dove will remember as an adult, what it learned as a chick, it is safe to be held by some humans sometimes.

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Pieter Bruegel The Elder

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Biographies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2019 by Drogo

pieter bruegel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder was a Flemish Renaissance artist was born around 1525 and died in 1569. His exact birth place in Brabant (either in present-day Belgium or Holland) remains uncertain. Bruegel’s paintings and drawings mainly reflect the everyday life of peasants in the Netherlands, with a netherworld twist. Bruegel based his work upon realistic observations and intricate design with allegories. In 1556 Bruegel was encouraged by his lifelong friend and publisher Hieronymus Cock to put aside his interest in landscape, and imitate and renovate an earlier local Brabantine style by Hieronymus Bosch. Hieronymus Bosch was the original innovator of his unique style of symbolic painting in the Netherlands 40 years before Bruegel. Bosch’s art still had a very medieval feel to it, using abnormal situations and small demonic Little Creatures. Although bosch and Bruegel styles are very similar, both have demons which express ‘verve anime’; Bruegel was able to do more realistic pieces with greater rotundity of form. Bruegel vividly picked social and emotional attitudes of the day into farces.

The name ‘Peeter Brueghels’ first appears on the members list of the artists Guild in Antwerp in 1551. After many former works it was in 1556 that Bruegel did his first Bosch-like drawing titled ‘Big fish eat little ones’. Sitting on a large knife with in the picture is a Christian orb of the Holy Roman Emperor possibly representing the Inquisition and the uncertainty of the times. In 1557 Bruegel engraved and printed ‘The seven deadly sins’, his style still greatly reflecting bosch. In 1560 Bruegel completed the Seven Virtues, establishing territory for his own style in the art world. The Seven Virtues contains a philosophical complex idea based on the moralistic treaties of Desiredius Erasmus, the Enchiridion (Shield of the Christian Warrior). Erasmus’ book is concerned with man’s inability to distinguish between appearance and reality. Erasmus suggests that we tend to confuse virtue with material show, when in reality true virtue is to be found only in spiritual devotion to Christian principles.

In 1564 Bruegel a wonderful drawing called ‘Fall of the Magician’. That same year he had his first son Pieter Bruegel The Younger. His son would also carry on the painting tradition. ‘The fall of the magician’ has an overall appearance of demonic tumult. St James the Minor’s presence, as he observed Hermogenes’ downfall. However a large robed figure in the back of the picture is merely playing a shell game. In the reality of the painting, is the observer being misled as to the actual situation? Perhaps the forces of evil were given another identity then is at first apparent.  This theme is reminiscent of the medieval Hermes Trismegistus legends, and that later germanic Faustian tales of deals with the devil and the corrupting lust for power. Bruegel’s message seems to be that the world is cruel, but made worse perhaps because man has made it so. Would Bruegel have agreed with Kant, that if all men of Goodwill were to act together the world would be a better place? Or is that concept too unrealistic?

Bruegel did a very realistic painting of the Infant Jesus being presented by his mother Mary, to the three kings. A realistic drawing of peasants dancing is called ‘the marriage dance’, and like similar paintings of his, this epitomizes Bruegel’s style mixture of mundane and surreal. After viewing, mental reality sinks in later, that his art cleverly pokes fun at the Christian Catholic Church, and existence itself. Bruegel ordered his wife to burn certain drawings because he thought they were “too biting and sharp”. Bruegel’s reality was hidden within the action, setting, and characters of his art works; because he was reluctant to openly admit his surreptitious views on the evils of society.

Bruegel earned his living producing drawings to be turned into prints for the leading print publisher (Hieronymus Cock). His great successes were his series of allegories. In Bruegel’s works his sinners are grotesque, while the allegories of virtue wear odd head-gear. Imitations of Bosch sold well, like ‘Big Fish Eat Little Fish’, which Bruegel signed but Cock falsely attributed to Bosch in the print version.

Audio Recording of my Reading this Report is on Audiomack.

[This report was for a philosophy project when I was a senior in high school in 1994.]