Tag Archives: ducks

They Came in Pairs

baby hummingbirds

I received a reminder today of what photos I had taken exactly one year ago. Google does this, for reasons that escape me. All I wanted was a place to backup my picture files, but this is what you get when you join the big machine. However, it was synchronous with a thought I’ve had mulling in my head for some time, which is the phenomenon of pairs – the duality of things. When you get right down to it, everything started with a singularity, which was simply everything in the universe compressed into a point with no dimension. It had no dimension because there was nothing to measure with. Try to imagine the concept – it floors me, so I avoid thinking about it. Maybe Steven Hawking could have explained it to me, alas, but we shall never meet.

So what happened? It expanded, fast. But, mathematically it had to go from being one thing to two, didn’t it? I mean if mathematics holds true in all universes, then the whole number that follows one is two. So I say that two is thus extremely important. With one, there was nothing, but with two there was instantly something, because the 2nd thing made the first thing a point of reference, before which there was none.

Before this gets too confusing I just want to share some pairs of things that I have recently encountered, just because they were a pair. Some were alive, others man made.

Here we have a pair of Smith Corona Sterling’s; a 1951 and a 1956 – one pica, one elite = a perfect set. Since I had collected a few of these, as wonderful as they are, I decided to sell them both. One sold in 2 days. The other just went on the market. What’s the point of having only one of them? So I have to sell the pair. I’m hanging on to my pair of Silent Supers however.

A pair of Olympia SG1’s, both 1963. Both had the same problems – including a disintegrated right margin stop. How odd – clearly a design defect. One elite, one pica – is this a pattern? One sold, the other still for sale. The advantage of this pair coming along in short order is that I have had a chance to examine the engineering closely, since they both required a fair bit of tweaking.

Buying and fixing these is not only fun, but also is a small contribution to keeping these great old machines from the dump. There are no repair shops left in this town, so when I get a typewriter back on the road I feel like I’m contributing something, and the money I make helps me buy and fix more machines, so I’m not out of pocket. Still, they are cheap when you think about what they are worth and what it would cost to buy one in today’s money.

Smith on the left, Corona on the right

Now we move on to wildlife. I always thrill to a pair of bald eagles. This pair was first encountered in one tree, then they flew away. Later on my rambles I saw them again in another tree. To see a pair of them take flight up close is a wonder to behold.

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I saw a pair of ducks we could eat!

Moving on we find some ducks. They tend to hang out in pairs, male and female, but I wonder if they form couples? I think not, but they say geese do.

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Filed under Birds, Philosophy, Photography, Typewriters, Uncategorized, Wildlife

The Lake in Winter

Perplexed Duck

Perplexed Duck

The Lake in Winter

winter weather is here

the lake has a frozen crust

ducks stand around perplexed by solid water

they peck at the ice as if expecting food

they shuffle about like old people

wearing slipper socks on a slippery floor

but they don’t fall, and if they do

they have not far to go

we stood and watched them,

glowing in the brilliant sunlight

then started to walk away and they scattered suddenly

for no apparent reason but then two eagles cruised by

looking for ducks perhaps, or maybe not

surely it would have been so easy to swoop down and grab one

next a river otter hiding beneath the dock

where there was no ice

came out briefly chewing on something we couldn’t see

before it went back into hiding

now a hawk, a large red tail

harassed by crows it leaves its high perch

leisurely sails away, regal, nonplussed by its pursuers

it soon disappears like the otter, but into the sky

quite frozen we turn towards home now

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when we find a skull hung from a branch by the path

a cow we assume, whence it came a mystery

no cows here for decades yet there it hangs

like a relic from the desert

we examine and leave it there

looking up we see the eagle swirling about

riding the updraft or merely the wind

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it circles several times then heads away

towards a perch atop a tall tree,

coming to rest seemingly implacable

the master of all beneath its imperious gaze

it hardly bothers to see us as we walk by

no doubt it paid us no heed

though we looked up and admired it with looks that said

we hold you in awe and though we do not scatter when you come

we are grateful you deign not attack us

a natural fact of which we are secretly worried

lest it not be an infallible truth

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Duck à la Wall

wall ducks in flight

wall ducks in flight

wall ducks

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Filed under Cameras, Photography, Poetry, Thrift shop finds, Typewriters

Up, Down & Around

1-DSCN1940lake & hill 25mar13

 

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A Surprising Event

My son likes to surprise us by returning from the far side of the earth unannounced. This time he did it with an extra bonus – a wife. We knew he was married of course – they’ve been waiting to get a visa for ages. With typical government efficiency the crack Canadian Department of Visa Delaying Tactics turned it around in a mere 18 months, although they like to inform the public that it generally takes 6 months!

(Note to typerati: new typewriter – ’65 SM9 with ‘Modern Pica’, two tone keyboard)

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Filed under Poetry, Typewriters