Saturday, April 11, 2009
Easter springs eternal --- eggs and birds, too
Every Easter I blow eggs, one per family member, then decorate and paint and do various things with them. We keep them from year to year, so Handsome Son has a collection at his home, and we have ours here.
And this year I did it again. Pix show eggs on skewers drying -- this is an easier way to decorate them, too, since you can turn them as you work. I made extras, since I'm taking these into the rehab for HS and HP and me for our celebration tomorrow, and will give away a couple, too, to anyone who fancies having one.
I use different media each year, depending on the configuration of the planets - one year handmade paper attached, another year spray painted, another year silk dyes, or total allover painting with acrylic metallics. This year it's lines and scribbles and squiggles with permanent markers and dots of acrylic in metallic blues and golds, with the brown of the shell showing through.
One picture shows how I like to display them from year to year, in a glass bowl with shells from the Jersey shore, exactly the way shore birds nest among shells and rocks. The juxtaposition of eggs and the other shore materials just seems a happy one.
Blowing eggs also results in breakfast omelettes or scrambled eggs, to use up the contents. But it's better to empty the eggs, since that way you can keep them for years. The exception to that was when I decorated the (sterile) eggs from my dear rescued cockatiel. They were so small that the contents just kind of vanished without a trace.
E. my cockatiel, was a beautiful lutino -- yellow and white -- whom I rescued from a garage sale. The previous "owners" said she was strange, had never made a sound in the three years they'd had her. Turned out she'd been alone in the spare bedroom, no view, fed only wild bird seed, no toys. As you probably know, cockatiels are highly intelligent, gentle birds, and here was one who had never been played with nor talked to, nor given a glimpse of the outside, nor free of her cage. I just told them, I'm taking this bird! gave them a token amount for the cage, and beat it.
On the way home, less than 15 minutes after leaving the garage sale, I heard those little contented howareyou sort of sounds that cockatiels make when they're feeling good. And within days, after bouncing her on my hand to make her flap her wings and develop strength, she took her first flight in my living room. I had to catch her in mid air, though, because she panicked, not knowing what this flying stuff was exactly, and folded her wings, and began to plummet.
But after that she got the hang of it, had the freedom of the place. Her favorite roosts were typically the tops of any new artworks I'd hung on the wall for storage. She added little tears and nibbles to several handmade paper pieces, which I thought improved them.
She ate every nice thing I offered her, no coaxing necessary, even though it was strange food. Salads, little bits of boiled egg (I know, birds are cannibals!) grains, shreds of a variety of foods, home made corn bread, she loved it all. When I lay down for a nap she would start at my feet, then walk all the way up my body and try to tug off an earring. And when I came home and called her name, I'd hear howareyou,howareyou from wherever she was.
I had three cats at that time,different ones from now, and Boud, from whom my screen name comes (short for Boudicca, feisty British warrior queen, small but deadly, just like little Boud) and E. became friends, with Boud letting E. nibble gently on her nose, purring all the while so I guess it didn't bother her. Interspecies friendship can really happen.
Because of her early hardships and lousy nutrition, E. only lived another year with me, far short of the lifetime she should have had, and died in my arms, murmuring peacefully to the end. She and I were true friends, and I took her out to the marsh to lay her body under leaves by the water and return her to the earth.
It's good to remember the fun in life as well as the hard stuff, and E. certainly gave me a lot of that. Her eggs still survive, pix here, with a regular hen's egg in the frame to show you the relative size. One pic shows the eggs in a miniature Wedgwood cup and saucer, another display idea.
On our Easter dinner table (which we will set up when HP comes home) I usually put out all these eggs plus Limoges porcelain eggs and various miniature rabbits, from Lenox and Boehm, famous Trenton potteries. It's all very whimsical and we like it!