Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A drift of feathers

A good friend and I often amuse ourselves with dreaming up collective nouns for things.  We both enjoy the real ones - like a business of ferrets, a parliament of owls, a stand of flamingos, a skulk of friars, a wandering of tinkers... but we also then enjoy making up our own.

So we have a slump of teen-age boys, a consolation of social workers, a chapter of writers, and so on. These email exchanges can be highly entertaining (at least to us) and last for days when we get on a roll...

But back to things artistic.

These photos were all taken in New Zealand.  So often on the beaches, there were mounds of driftwood - evidence of the rough seas and the raging winds.  In amongst all these logs and bits of wood I came across feathers. In my mind they became 'a  drift of feathers'.








19 comments:

  1. Feathers are beautiful, aren't they Fiona? So delicate and swift... and silent. I love these photos. x

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  2. There is so much beauty and perfection in feathers for me Louise - I love the stories within and the stories they tell by their action and delicateness and movement. Sigh, it is a delight to observe them and wonder...

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  3. Looking at your photos my fingers are twitching to pick up a few pieces of driftwood. I like 'a drift of feathers'. It brings to mind many happy memories of beach walks during sardine season. The seagulls and gannets dive into the shoals all day long and their feathers wash up on the shore in drifts.

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    1. I love driftwood too Robyn - but the mountains don't have much of it! It is always interesting how evocative photographs can be, bringing all those memories back...

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  4. Love your drift of feathers. Funnily enough I printed out a list of collective bird nouns yesterday - thinking about a future project for the two of us!
    Like yourown collectives though ....

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    1. Should I say 'snap' or should you?!?! How spooky - looking forward to seeing what you found...we could do a whole book on our own collectives if you'd like! Laugh.

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  5. Don't forget 'a murder of crows'...

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    1. oooh I love that one! Suits their apparent darkness so well. Thanks Robyn!

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  6. Feathers can be so useful in art. I have often used them; they even look good just as they are, as in your lovely photos.
    X

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    1. Thanks Sue - I agree on all points! They are so beautiful just as they are and they such wonderful elements in art as well.

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  7. A drift of feathers... has a nice flow :) I have a wordy friend, too, and we just might have to take up the collective noun exchange. Since we have a congress here in government, I've been smitten lately with a "congress of baboons". (I admit I've been feeling a tad governmentally critical of late, so this works well!)
    I miss driftwood as a sculpture element or just a good still life object. Living in the forest and not too close to the ocean these days. I do occasionally get to the river, but it has to be a particular place and kind to get good driftwood.

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    1. hi Valerianna - it's a fun little distraction and the emails fling back and forth between us...with great hilarity. A Congress of baboons is fabulous and your appropriation of it so apt. Like you our mountain doesn't offer up much driftwood but it still speaks so eloquently doesn't it?

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  8. maybe it should be a murder of politicians...
    the drift of feathers make me sad, they are bedraggled after the sea spits them out. so unlike those gifts that fall from a flying bird. but they're beautiful.

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    1. ooh I like that one as well V! I can sense the sadness in these feathers, they have had a tough time of it, but somehow they also seemed quite restful and at peace. Perhaps a bedragglement of feathers would suit?

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  9. perfect word. I rather like an unkindness of ravens as a group. I say I have a brace of daughter or a triad of child.

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    1. The raven grouping is a good one Suzie - and I love your own adoption of the brace or triad! The real ones are so entertaining in themselves, but the made up ones are equally as much fun. Go well.

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  10. Distracted by the feathers but love the idea of making up collective nouns. Some great choices by you and your friend. Reminds me of my days in advertising many years ago when some ad agency people were often described as very shallow and all talk and no action etc . I remember a colleague coming up with the idea of a facade of ad directors. I thought this was a great collective noun and it is lovely to be reminded of it today.

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  11. Hi Lesley - honestly there are hours of entertainment once you get started! I think the facade of ad directors is an absolute gem, I often dream of an illustrated book of made up ones - except I can't illustrate.

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I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.