Gliding Off

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is GLIDE
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) is IDYLLIC
Your Word of the Day this morning is EXCURSION

What waits for me? Who knows?
Beyond the rippling tide:
adventures – or a lazy day
of watching seabirds glide.

A siren call across the swell
pulls me from my chair.
Away to sea, my boat and me,
with hope of havens fair!

Idyllic isles or rolling seas,
excursions o’er the foam;
I’ll spend this month meandering
intriguing paths to roam.

Methinks the month will fly…
I’ll pass through sun and rain.
I shall return when “dog days” burn
and dock my boat again.

🙂

No, I’m not really gliding off into the rolling sea, but I am taking a holiday from blogging in the month of July. I’ll continue my Ragtag Daily Prompt duties Sunday evenings and I intend to keep posting interesting words & meanings on my Word Buds site but otherwise, you won’t see me here very much before August 2.

H--Closed July

Layoffs

Panda.Andrea Bohl

 

Our roving reporter writes:
“Due to the COVID virus, hordes of people are no longer visiting the zoo. Management has done a number of LAYOFFS to cut back expenses during this time. The monkeys, they say, are bored stiff with no one to entertain, whereas being unemployed seems to suit some creatures quite well.”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is LAYOFF

Image by Andrea Bohl  — Pixabay

Limited Interests

air-balloon-festival-954908_640
TanteLoe — Pixabay

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today: WINDBAG
The Word of the Day Challenge: FUTILE

My response shall be this tale.

The Ornithologist

At the family picnic our cousin Devern’s new bride, Chloe was warmly welcomed by everyone in our extended family circle. At the picnic table I noticed that she sat next to great-uncle Herb, so I sat across from them in case she needed a little help. Uncle Herb wasn’t the greatest conversationalist.

As we all enjoyed our food, I heard Chloe ask Uncle Herb, “So, who do you think will win the presidential election this fall?”

Oh dear.

His noncommittal response was, “I won’t even try to guess.”

She seemed taken aback; nevertheless she made another stab at it. “At this point it’s pretty hard to predict, I guess. Who do you think Joe Biden will choose as his running mate?”

“I doubt it will matter much. Politicians are all about the same.”

Looking a little miffed, Chloe glanced at me and I gave her a sympathetic smile. She didn’t know Uncle Herb yet.

I leaned forward. “Say, Uncle Herb, I saw a bird in our yard yesterday, small and brownish with a lighter breast. It had a short tail that kind of stuck up. A wren, wouldn’t you say?”

“Oh, yes. Very likely, if its tail was short, somewhat blunt, and pointed up. A dusky flycatcher is small and brown, too, but its tail’s longer, more tapered. House wrens and duskies both have a ring around the eye and you may confuse the two by that, but the dusky is slightly larger, 5 3/4”. Also, duskies have a rather yellow belly and clear white wing bars, where the wren’s belly is creamy and its bars, on both wings and tail, are smaller black and brown. Look more like ripples. However, the upright tail will give the wren away every time. And its song, of course.

“Now, as to what kind of a wren… If its back was definitely brown and barred, it was a house wren. A sedge wren is much like a house wren, slightly smaller, only 4 ½”, but it doesn’t have that distinguishing thin ring of white around its eye. Also, a sedge wren’s throat is whiter and the belly more orange. Did you happen to get a good look at its throat or belly?”

“Um.. No. It was in the bushes and…”

“Too bad. Now, marsh wrens are slightly lighter in color and clearly distinguished by a line above the eye, going from the beak to the back of the head. Winter wrens are smaller than a house wren, though; a house wren is 4 3/4″ whereas a winter wren is only four inches. But winter wrens nest in the pine forests of northern Canada, so you’ll rarely see one here, except in migration. They don’t have a clear line above the eye, either.”

“I hope I get another chance to see it.” I also hoped to think of some topic that would stop Uncle Herb’s ornithological flow.

Suddenly he turned back to Chloe. “What kind of birds have you observed?”

She searched for an answer. “Er… Robins. I’ve seen robins.”

“Robins?” Uncle Herb looked puzzled. “Is that all? Surely you’ve seen other birds.”

Chloe got that deer-in-the-headlights look. “Uh… And pigeons. And sparrows. I’ve seen lots of sparrows.”

“Are you referring to native sparrows or English sparrows?” His tone was rather demanding.

Uh-oh! I knew where this was going.

Sadly, poor Chloe had no clue. “Is there a difference,” she asked.

“There certainly is.” The glare Uncle Herb gave her would have frosted the Sahara.

Seeing her wilt under his disapproval, I jumped up and said, “Want to come with me, Chloe? I think Mom’s ready to set the desserts out. I think she’ll need our help.”

“Sure!” She sprang from her chair and hurried to join me. We headed for the food table and stood beside it, since desserts weren’t being set out yet.

Chloe sighed. “I had no idea he’d be so passionate about sparrows?”

“Yeah. You’ll get the cold shoulder talking politics with Uncle Herb, but he’s a real windbag if you get him on the subject of birds. I guess we all know him by now and humor him if we can, or find somewhere else to be if he gets going full throttle. Don’t worry. You’ll catch on.”

Chloe chuckled. “Guess all families have them. Once my Uncle Tim gets started on state versus federal authority he can expound for hours. We’ve tried redirecting him but it’s futile. He has to wind down on his own.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” I gave her a big grin.

Wren in shrub cropped

Living Blues

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CERULEAN BAY

Since we lack oceans here on the prairies, we pretty much lack bays, too. We make do quite nicely with our lakes and rivers, though, and a larger lake may have a small dip in the shoreline one might call a bay. And you’ll find some small crescent (in England a “close”) in the city dubbed Xxx Bay.

We don’t lack shades of blue, though. Saskatchewan bills itself as “the land of living skies” because we have a whole palette of blues and grays with white added in streaks, layers and mounds.

At times I’ve read books that involve an ocean voyage, where the writer talks of a water spout. Narrow tubes of water going up from the sea into the heavens — I’d love to see one of those!

We have a similar phenomenon on the prairie: we call them dust devils. Mini tornadoes, sometimes only a metre wide, sometimes two. They skip over the ground in an erratic path, picking up and swirling dust and leaves. You may be looking at a field of grain and see heads start to swirl in a random path that zips through the grain — and you know a dust devil has touched down.

I like colour descriptions as a rule. However, when novel writers describe the hero or heroine as having cerulean blue eyes, to me this sounds poetic. We just don’t think or talk that way. After all, when was the last time your friend told you so-and-so’s eyes are “cerulean blue”? We may say bright blue, dark blue, gray-blue, maybe even denim blue. But when writers get into really creative shades of eye colour like mocha espresso, cottonseed brown, or tea leaf green, this is unnecessary exaggeration, in my opinion.

I googled CERULEAN and find it’s a cross between aqua and turquoise. There’s some variety. I borrowed these paint chips from the SICO website; neither are named Cerulean, but are about the right colour.

Limpid Lagoon 6151-63
Limpid Lagoon
Cayman Blue 6151-52
Cayman Blue