December 9, 2012

In the snow today: man, dog...


... and a sedge of sandhill cranes....



Michael said...

A siege or swoop of cranes. A construction of cranes.

Meade said...

A bob of cranes.

Michael said...

A dance of cranes.

wyo sis said...

Where do these collective nouns come from? Do people sit around and make them up?

James Pawlak said...

Going from birds to other critters, you could note:
A parliament/congress of baboons; And,
A greed of lawyers.

Michael said...

A flink of cows

m stone said...

Nice artistic effect of falling snow.

Meade said...

wyo sis said...
"Where do these collective nouns come from? Do people sit around and make them up?"

Sometimes I stand around.

A crane of necks.

MadisonMan said...

Every little bit of moisture helps next Spring's crops.

Plus is looks so darn nice out at this time of year, when snow and Christmas Lights mix. I think I'll go drive along University and look at the lights in the trees there -- my favorite Christmas display in Madison.

wyo sis said...

Well, Meade you're doing a fine job sitting or standing. A Bob of cranes is pretty good.

Elliott A said...

Hard to get into holiday spirit in 70 degree weather. The cranes looked like a "queue" to me. A group of trees collectively are police. (Copse)

Lem said...

Wounded Crane in a Cranium Chained

Rain, softer than a murmured song,
Hummed in an ancient language,
Remnant waves of Silenced Pain.

Crane, news bearer
Fragile as the thinnest crystal
Yet free in motion
Free in flight
Distinguished perfectly
In essence and by construction
Mocking forces of brutality.

Train, hurried motion on static tracks
Uninspired repetition
Slaughterhouse and desert skulls
Gas chambers and scimitars
The final solution.

Vain, human perfection.
Folly, incision
As perfect as a
Bleeding brain.

Cane, religion.
Perfect insult
Portraying God
As a rug-merchant
Peddling your soul
And his heaven.

Rain, cleansing sins uncommitted.
Rain, from air to ocean
Tears flowing, evaporating
In endless cycles

RAIN, bless the furtile soil
soothe the driest cheeks
sing to the mountain birds
and lion herds

Noah's guiding companion
To Ararat
By destiny.
To Ararat
Our destination.

Bedros Afeyan
Montreal (1987)

Coketown said...

I just found the Christmas album I grew up on on Amazon. I've been missing it for years, and here it is. I'm so happy. I've been searching and searching for Christmas MP3 albums, and specifically this one, but it was all either crappy Mariah Carey garbage or spiritless, generic recordings without vocals. It has one of my favorite O Holy Night recordings, too. Bliss! Bliss!

Make sure you buy it through the Althouse portal, though. Or else it's a lump of coal in your stocking. Unless the EPA banned stocking coal. Then you'll get a stocking full of Solyndra's shredded documents.

Ann Althouse said...

Der Trommelmann!

Coketown said...

Der Trommelmann!

Even as a kid, that one always stuck out. It's a beautiful arrangement, but the German vocals can't help but grate the ears. Marlene Dietrich. That really dates the compilation.

Erika said...

Wyo sis, I happen to have the answer to that. It was called the 'venereal game,' and it dates to medieval times.

From a book I enjoyed as a kid and still browse sometimes called Why Things Are by Joel Achenbach:

Why Are There So Many Bizarre Names For A Collection Of Animals...?

Our favorite is a parliament of owls, because you can imagine them in powdered wigs. According to James Lipton, author of An Exaltation of Larks, the English nobility had nothing better to do in the fifteenth century than sit around and think up funny names for groups of animals. This was called the venereal game, after the word venery, an archaic term for hunting. Terms became widely circulated by word of mouth, then established though the publication of books of courtesy, which instructed a gentleman how to behave in proper society and among other things use the right name for a bunch of foxes ("skulk").

Many of the terms are conspicuously cute like a cowardice of curs or a murder of crows. Others sound cuter than they are meant to be; a school of fish is a corruption of shoal of fish, which is an appropriate image. Some others: A hover of trout, a husk of hares, a labor of moles, an unkindness of ravens, a murmuration of starlings, a knot of toads, a gang of elk, a fall of woodcocks, a rafter of turkeys, a kindle of kittens, a pitying of woodcocks, a crash of rhinos, a congregation of plovers, and a bevy of roebucks.

Cedarford said...

Cranes together are an awesome sight. You don't see them like this on the East Coast...though Texas has "passles" of them.

Michael said...

I saw a siege of them over Atlanta last week. Several hundred. Lovely.

edutcher said...

One of the best is a flourish of strumpets.

PS Poor Sherlock would get frozen to something out there.

But he'd love it.

Rusty said...

They're late this year. They like to eat bugs.

wyo sis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

I found several books by Achenbach on Amazon, but Why Things Are is pretty pricy. I'll have to be content with the his two later books. I'm a sucker for trivia. Thanks for the tip.

Chip Ahoy said...

Sedge is an important Egyptian word. It's the sound nswt, which I sound out nehsweat but others sound out su. It's one of those thing people work out individually due to silent letters, missing bits, and apparent extra bits originating with the phrase "he of the sedge" meaning leader of the tribe down there in the delta, down in the north, different from "he of the valley" or "he of the bees" or whatever else the upper Egyptians called themselves, there's as many names as ruling families, and cities and geographic areas and epochs.

At any rate the sedge is basic, papyrus is a sedge. And right now I see who this Joel guy is whose images appear on google image search [nswt sedge egypt], not a bad looking fellow, something of a Talosian, iykwim, Blogger wouldn't let me link google image result for some reason, but his sedges made me laugh because I was bummed out about how my own glyphs were looking lately especially the birds, until I saw Joel's sedges.

Sedges, rushes, reeds, grass, it's all quite confusing to a non-biologist type such as myself. Even nutritionists get in on messing with Chip. They go, "rice isn't a grain it's a grass." And I all, "grains are grasses, Bitches, stop messing with my mind."

Toad Trend said...

A parade of cranes.

On the frozen tundra.

December's frigid wind comes in like a pirate.

It is here that the game is begun with a whistle, and ended with a gun.

I love NFL films references.

ErnieG said...

A crock of alligators.

An allegation of crocodiles.