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Bobcat jumps shark..

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — I suppose you could call this “land-sea battle” ]
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**

I couldn’t quite let this tweet go by without recalling the two quotes that gave me the DoubleQuotes idea in the first place:

From Haniel Long’s Letter to Saint Augustine:

My friend Jens Jensen, who is an ornithologist, tells me that when he was a boy in Denmark he caught a big carp embedded in which, across the spinal vertebrae, were the talons of an osprey. Apparently years before, the fish hawk had dived for its prey, but had misjudged its size. The carp was too heavy for it to lift up out of the water, and so after a struggle the bird of prey was pulled under and drowned. The fish then lived as best it could with the great bird clamped to it, till time disintegrated the carcass, and freed it, all but the bony structure of the talon.

And from Annie Dillard‘s Teaching a Stone to Talk:

And once, says Ernest Seton Thompson–once, a man shot an eagle out of the sky. He examined the eagle and found the dry skull of a weasel fixed by the jaws to his throat. The supposition is that the eagle had pounced on the weasel and the weasel swiveled and bit as instinct taught him, tooth to neck, and nearly won. I would like to have seen that eagle from the air a few weeks or months before he was shot: was the whole weasel still attached to his feathered throat, a fur pendant? Or did the eagle eat what he could reach, gutting the living weasel with his talons before his breast, bending his beak, cleaning the beautiful airborne bones?

**

The photo almost, though not quite, captures the full circularity of the two narratives above — but even so, the sense of two elemental beasts, one of earth, one of water, grappling each with the other, is powerful, rare, and memorable.

Good karma, or paying it forward — piggy-back

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron — a frog, a snail, a praying mantis, yes — but not a piggy in sight! ]
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See also: At a snail’s pace

Hat-tip: Faizah.

**

Sources:

  • Snail rides frog, photocredit: Lessy Sebastian / Solent News
  • Mantis rides snail, photocredit: Nordin Seruyan / Barcroft Media
  • At a snail’s pace

    Sunday, December 29th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron — leap frog in very slow motion, and leap razor too ]
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    As a poet, I don’t much like that old saw about a picture being worth a thousand words — but there’s a density of information in each of the images below that’s worth considering:

    **

    Two very striking images, in parallel, juxtaposed. What can we read into them, or out of them?

  • That a snail’s pace is always the same, no matter what obstacles it encounters?
  • That slow and steady wins the race?
  • That you can take the easy way, or you can take the hard way?
  • That you [Chinese Buddhists] can go for gradual or sudden enlightenment?
  • That the snail in the upper panel (in an artwork by Nancy Fouts) is enacting and or paying hommage to Colonel Kurtz‘s celebrated line from Apocalypse Now?

    I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.

  • What else? What do you see?
  • There’s power in images, and even more in juxtapositions.

    **

    Daffodils

    If one picture is worth
    a thousand words,
    what’s a bunch of Wordsworth?

    **

    Here the actor Jeremy Irons gives a refreshingly fresh reading of Wordsworth‘s poem:

    Cricket news — the Pakistani Taliban umpire speaks out

    Friday, December 6th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron — terror and games — an odd couple methinks, but one that’s not infrequently encountered ]
    .

    Pakistan Taliban umpire Shahidullah Shahid, left, speaks on Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, right

    .

    As you may know, I’m not too keen on sports — far too physical for sedentary me, even at a young age — but if there ever was a sport I could enjoy, it would be cricket. In fact I used to spend hours as a boy “playing cricket” in the outfield, singing quietly to myself and spotting caterpillars in the hawthorn hedges that edged my side of the field.

    Imagine my delight, then, to find the Pakistani Taliban has also developed a love for the game. From the Friday Times, today:

    Taliban have threatened media organizations for “quoting out of context” their spokesman’s video statement in which he had likened those who praise the US and criticize the Taliban to those who praise Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and criticise Pakistan’s cricket captain Misbahul Haq.

    The 17-minute video recording was released to present the Taliban’s outlook on the future of talks with the government, Pakistan and its politics, and the role of the armed forces. But what grabbed media attention was a two minute portion in which their spokesman used a cricket analogy to defend the controversial statement of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Munawar Hassan that Pakistani soldiers who died fighting the Taliban were not martyrs.

    “There is this Indian player called Tendulkar. He is being exceedingly praised by the Pakistani media and people. At the same time the media showed disapproval of Misbahul Haq. Even though Tendulkar is a great sportsman, you should not praise him because that is unpatriotic. Instead, you should praise Misbah despite the fact that he is a bad player, because he is ultimately a Pakistani,” said Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesman of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). “Those who praise the soldiers fighting for America, secularism, democracy and British-made laws are like those who lauded Tendulkar instead of Misbah.”

    All in all, I suppose it was an inevitable development — Imran Khan had supported a position that the TTP favored, and it’s hard to “like” Imran Khan without also “liking” cricket. The report continues:

    In the same video, he praised Tehrik-e-Insaaf leader Imran Khan for blocking NATO supplies to Afghanistan because the move was hurting US interests, adding that the Taliban had developed a soft corner for Khan because of the move.

    Of course, the Indians like cricket quite a bit, too.

    **

    What matters to me about caterpillars, aside for the intriguing “looping” movement some of them have down to a fine art, is the fact that they turn into butterflies — and if I may transcend the material world into pure metaphor for a moment, that butterflies in turn symbolize psyche.

    Me? I’m still in the outfield, still on the lookout for caterpillars, still playing my own highly contemplative form of cricket.

    A wildlife DoubleQuote in the Wild, hat-tip Dan Trombly

    Sunday, September 1st, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron — carrier pigeons, guilty, 1914, okay — dolphins, jury still out — but these storks and hawks, innocent I do believe ]
    .

    Sources:

  • Sky News, Stork Held In Egypt On Suspicion Of Spying, 31 August, 2013
  • National Turk, Turks introduced hawks under suspicion of espionage, 27 July, 2013
  • **

    I can claim no responsibility for this DoubleQuote, which I would never have “caught” without Dan Trombly‘s keen eye as manifest in his tweet today:

    For extra bite:

    The stork story concludes with this delicious tid-bit:

    In 2010, a series of shark attacks along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast were blamed on “GPS-controlled sharks” allegedly sent by Israeli security services into Sinai waters.

    Jumping the shark?


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