Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Lapwing

This lapwing doth run away with the shell on his head.

said by Horatio of the character Osric, who is sent to propose the fatal duel with Laertes

It's the strangest place to insert comic relief, right before it all falls down. The phrase refers to the fact that lapwings were said to be so eager to to hatch that the leaped out of the nest with the shell still adhering, therefore Osric, with his considerable posturing, is thought to be wet behind the ears.

The lapwing is so called for its trick of leading predators from its nest by dragging one wing along the ground as if it were injured. This blog is being given over to the birds for next while - please let me know if you are posting any birds, or if you see any, and I will link to them.

In the mean time, here are some birds observed recently:

a fiercely contemplative bird, on Random Shots

A gentler contemplation on A Room of One's Own


am said...

Thank you for stopping by at my blog. I'm enjoying seeing yours.

A bit of synchronicity here (along with your father and my father being in the same place in the last years of World War II) in that I have been slowly reading THE WHITE GODDESS, by Robert Graves, and was just puzzling over a reference to the Lapwing but not taking the time to find out what a Lapwing was. Funny to click on the link to your blog and find your post titled "The Lapwing."

From page 82 of THE WHITE GODDESS:

"The deceitful cry of the Lapwing? Gwion was not so ignorant of sacred history as he pretended: he must have know perfectly well that Moses never crossed the Jordan, that Mary Magdalene was never in the Firmament, that Lucifer's fall had been recorded by the prophet Isaiah centuries before the time of Alexander the Great."

mum said...

(hi, am!)

ArtSparker; the lapwing is precious and so are the links you provided. I love the Demeter poem.

Wish I could make blog reading a profitable venture. I'm finding enough great reads to keep me happy for hours on end.

I'll be on the lookout for birds.

Jasmine said...

A wonderful picture and really interesting text attached to it.

Birds are wonderful and mysterious creatures. When I was at Stonehenge yesterday we were being observe by chattering starling who sat peering down from the stones.

Recently I visited the Farne Isles during mating season, I took so many pictures of birds and wrote some poetry about the experience. Unfortunately I had to store them on a friends computer and she has not yet posted the disc...

ArtSparker said...

What a thoughtful group of comments! I am delighted to have the extensive Robert Graves quote here. Oddly, I saw a lapwing's egg on a blog yesterday after I had posted this, it is in fact much prettier than my substitute. Mum. I do notice I read less books than I used to...shrinking attention span. Jasmine, I hope your friend sends you the disc soon.