Friday, December 2, 2011

Flying Into Philadelphia


Look what I found this morning!  There's a new sculpture in Lenfest Plaza by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts -- Grumman Greenhouse by Jordan Griska.   It was created by taking a Cold War surplus Grumman Tracker II, folding it, and converting parts of its interior into greenhouses.

Either you like this sort of thing or you don't.  Me, I love it.

In the background, you may notice the latest Claes Oldenburg installation in my home city, Paint Torch.  Not only is it great art, but it lights up at night.

Philadelphia just keeps getting better and better.

And as long as I've got your attention . . .

I was researching Dragonstairs Press's Christmas card yesterday, and I ran across the assertion that the "five golden rings" in the Twelve Days of Christmas refers to ring-necked pheasants, thus making the first seven presents all avian.  

I'm not perfectly sold on that (though it does sound convincing that "calling birds" were originally "colly birds" or blackbirds), but I also ran across somebody's speculation that the "drummers drumming" were grouse and "lords a-leaping" were male cock pheasants.  Which brings the total to nine.

So, being so close, I thought I'd create an etymologically-dubious version of the song for ornithologists and birders.  And I could use your suggestions for the piper piping, ladies dancing, and maids a-milking.  Are the pipers sandpipers?  Are the ladies dancing kildeers?  What on earth could the maids possibly be?

All suggestions welcome.



JJM said...

For ladies dancing: dancing cranes. Absolutely. The dancing cranes of Hokkaido.


David Stone said...

Hmm, penguins create 'crop milk' in their throat, but I think only the males do that. Also, not a pretty image.

Eileen Gunn said...

There's a reason they don't put things like these in airports. I hope.

mcp said...

Technically speaking, that would be the Christmas "chapbook", the card being done...

Maids a milking - goatsuckers??? Nah.

Michael Swanwick said...

The Russians aren't the wusses that Americans are. I was in an Aeroflot plane that showed UNBELIEVABLE ADVENTURES OF ITALIANS IN RUSSIA and they didn't delete the antic scenes in the airplane. No way you'd see that on American Airlines.