Category Archives: animals

sporting a feathery crown (friday foto finder: crane)

The African crowned cranes at my local zoo are remarkably photogenic. They were quite cooperative posing for me earlier this year, showing off their striking crowns of feathers.


Striking a pose.


Craning to look at me?


Bending over for a drink.


Showing off its height and wingspan.


Enjoying the mid-day sun. (This photo was taken a few years before the others, which were from earlier this year. I notice that this crane has darker neck feathers, and a smaller crown. I wonder whether this is a black crowned crane, and the photos above of a gray crowned crane.)

Friday’s friday foto finder challenge was to share a photo of a crane While my first interpretation of this polysemous word was of the bird, I was almost certain that I wouldn’t have any photos of this sort of crane in my archives. I knew, however, that I had loads of photos of construction cranes and shipping cargo cranes. But a bit of poking back through my old photos triggered some memories of a variety of cranes I had encountered.

To see what cranes others found, pay a visit to the fff blog.

3 photos of animals…not looking at me.

Last week I posted photos of 3 animals looking at me sideways. This week, in deference to my feeling that I am hopelessly behind, I will share some photos of animals from behind.


Zebra butt.


Giraffe hindquarters.


Tapir, backside.

I wonder how many among you can say that, today, you expected to be mooned by a tapir. Anyone? I thought not.

(You’re welcome.)

3 animals, looking at me sideways

Here are 3 photos I took of animals last June.

Show horse.

Neighborhood calf.


Petting zoo kid.

Prairie dog pair (friday foto finder: animal)

For this week’s friday foto finder, we’re on the hunt for animals. My photo library is full of all sorts of animals: furry, feathery, scaly, slimy or otherwise. But here’s one animal photo I’ve been looking for an excuse to share. These two prairie dogs live in our local zoo.

This photo cracks me up, and it seems like it’s screaming for some sort of caption. Any suggestions?

To see what other animals people have captured, please pay a visit to the friday foto finder blog.

Pffft.

The kids and I went for a walk around the neighborhood this morning, to see some of the youngsters. This cute little girl is one of our neighbors.

lions

(Because I wanted to use that post title to follow up on this one.)

the swine flew

“Thinking again?” the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.
“I’ve a right to think,” said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried.
“Just about as much right,” said the Duchess, “as pigs have to fly….”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9.

Everyone knows that pigs can’t fly.

Except, of course, when they do. And fly they do, in all sorts of lore and literature, song and show, and even in a few airborne vessels. This ThThTh list is hog-wild for the swine of the skies.

A list of flying pigs

  • when pigs fly: an expression by which a speaker can convey the opinion that a given event will never happen. As in “this blog will be awarded a Pulitzer when pigs fly.”
  • when pigs grow wings: an expression that means “when pigs fly”
  • Pigs Have Wings, by P.G. Wodehouse. A book by the author of the Jeeves and Wooster series.
  • Flying Pig: a character on Kids in the Hall, portrayed by Bruce McCulluch. He is a winged pig who flies and “entertains people at bank-machines and other of life’s many lineups.” (See him in flight on YouTube.)

    flying pig kith

  • Pigasus: various references to winged pigs. The name plays on Pegasus (a winged horse)
  • Cincinnati: this city has adopted a winged pig as a mascot. The city has a Flying Pig Marathon.
  • pb125575

    A flying pig mug I bought at the Cincinatti airport.

  • references to flying pigs are used in many different business such as restaurants and art galleries . I’ve bought bread adorned with a winged pig from a bakery called When Pigs Fly. There’s evenFlying Pig Eyewear.
  • logo 111 flyingpig f

  • winged pigs have become so ubiquitous as to be commonly used for decoration, such as adorning weathervanes
  • “Pigs on the Wing”, a song by Pink Floyd
  • The first recorded pig flight took place in England in 1909. (source)

    The first historically recorded flight of a pig took place on British soil, at Leysdown in Kent in 1909. The pig was carried aloft by J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon, later the First Lord Brabazon of Tara, in his personal French-built Voisin aero plane.

    The pig was placed into a wicker basket, which was in turn strapped to a wing strut of the aero plane. A hand-lettered sign attached to the basket read: ‘I am the first pig to fly.’ Brabazon purposefully carried the pig aloft, thereby disproving the long help opinion that ‘pigs can not fly.’

  • More recently another flying pig made the news after a flight on a commercial airline
  • piscrew pigs in spaceship

  • Pigs in Space: these pigs from the Muppet Show have mastered not just flight, but space flight.

  • ad astra per alia porci: Steinbeck’s motto “To the stars on the wings of a pig” (found via the blog On Pig’s Wings, taking its name “from Steinbeck, whose motto, described his status as a ‘lumbering soul but trying to fly.'” )
  • Can’t get enough flying pigs? Lots more about them can be found at Porkopolis, a website devoted to all things porcine. Be sure to check posts in the category “flight,” and the informative post A Brief History of Pigs and Flight. Flying pigs have their own Wiki page, too.

moo

With Chinese New Year having brought us into the Year of the Ox, it seems a good time to bring on the bovines.

Seeing as oxen aren’t all that plentiful in the universe of things in my head, Babe aside¹, I’ve decide to round up some more plentiful bovines instead. This ThThTh brings you cows².

A herd of cow things

  1. Cows are used in the branding of several companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s (ice cream, which is a dairy product), La Vache Qui Rit/Lauging Cow cheese (more dairy products), A black and white cowhide pattern is also used for Gateway Computers, which are computers made entirely out of cheese. Or are they made out of beef?
  2. ben_and_jerrys gatewaylogo vache_qui_rit

  3. cow pie: Not anlagous to a chicken pie, this is not a beef-filled pastry.
  4. cowlick: a section of hair that grows in the wrong direction, sticking out as if licked by a cow.
  5. Vachement: a French slang adverb. Vache being the word for cow, and -ment being an adverbial suffix along the lines of -ly, vachement could be translated as “cowly.”
  6. Graceless, Aimless, Feckless and Pointless: the cows from Cold Comfort Farm (1995), one of my all time favorite movies. (Also in the novel by Sella Gibbons). Loads of other movies featuring cows, can be found at a cow-obsessed website called Bovine Bazaar.
  7. “The cow jumped over the moon”: a famous line from “Hey Diddle Diddle”
  8. cow_jump_over_moon

  9. sacred cows: Cows are holy in the Hindu religion, and are allowed to roam the streets freely in India.
  10. holy cow! An exclamation of surprise. Holy cow! That’s a lot of cows roaming the streets!
  11. “Cows,” A chorus-line inspired song off of Sandra Boynton’s album Philadelphia Chickens.
  12. Cow Parade: a large scale art project/event in which life-sized plastic cow models are painted and/or decorated as works of art and put on display. First seen in Chicago, and later in other cities around the world.
  13. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow: the cow blamed for starting the Great Chicago Fire by kicking over a lantern. She has since been cleared of the arson charges, as she didn’t really exist.
  14. Don’t have a cow, man. An expression meaning “don’t get upset.” A catchphrase used by Bart on The Simpsons.
  15. How now, brown cow? A saying used to practice the diphthong [aʊ], which is contained in each of the words.
  16. “I never saw a purple cow.”: a children’s rhyme.

    I never saw a purple cow.
    I never hope to see one.
    But I can tell you, anyhow,
    I’d rather see than be one.

  17. till the cows come home: an idiom meaning “all day long” or “for a long time.” I could list cows till the cows come home.

cow_sketched

¹ The blue ox, not the pig.
²I’ll spare you the bull, or at least the bulls, for now.

goosey, loosely

goose_girlIt’s that time of year again. You know, when the goose is getting fat. And you know what? So is my goose list for this fine Themed Things Thursday. But I’m in a bit of a rush, so I’ve gotten a bit loose in my descriptions.

A flock of geese things

  1. one’s goose is cooked: an expression meaning that one is in trouble. Eg. “She knew her goose was cooked when she saw the flock of angry geese heading her way”
  2. a wild goose chase: an expression for a fruitless venture, usually involving a lot of wasted energy. And sometimes flying feathers.
  3. a goose walked over my grave: an expression meaning “got a sudden chill”
  4. goose bumps: bumps that a appear temporarily on the skin when a person is cold. Perhaps because the skin looks a bit like that of a plucked goose.
  5. what’s good for the goose is good for the gander: an expression meaning that both male and female should be plucked. Or otherwise get equal treatment.
  6. take a gander at: an expression meaning “have a look.” As in “Take a gander at those soldiers doing the goose step.”
  7. goose step: a formal style of military marching.
  8. Spruce Goose: an airplane made out of wood.
  9. to goose: to poke someone in the butt, or between the cheeks.
  10. gets my goose: an expression one says when something has annoyed or made angry. (Probably a corruption of the similar “gets my goat.”) You know what really gets my goose? Getting goosed.
  11. duck, duck, goose: a children’s game played in a group. Participants sit around in a circle and quack and honk. (No, not really. Click the link if you don’t already know the game.)
  12. Mother Goose: a name given to the author of traditional nursery rhymes, who may or may not have been a real individual.
  13. Gossie: a children’s book by Olivier Dunrea about a gosling and her bright red boots.
  14. “The Goose Girl”: a fairy tale about a girl who is frequently goosed. Or maybe not.
  15. The Golden Goose: a recipe for roasting a goose. Or maybe it’s another fairy tale.
  16. The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs: a fable attribute to Aesop about a couple who had a profitable business agreement with a goose until they got too greedy.
  17. killing the goose that laid the golden eggs: an expression based on the above fable, said of people who have it out for geese, and are worried about cholesterol levels.
  18. goose egg: a slang term for zero, based on the fact that goose eggs weigh absolutely nothing. Or maybe because of their shape.
  19. silly goose: what one might call a person who is behaving in a silly way.
  20. give a gift of geese: Heifer International offers geese among their gift options, getting a family a goose to raise. Much better than getting goosed.

simpleton_finds_the_golden_gooseold_mother_goose