Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The lasts of summer?

I don’t know about you, but I was almost cold this morning. It’s been months since I had that feeling and I’ve sweated through a lot since then. My thighs were mauled by a gauntlet of mosquitoes yesterday morning as I ventured towards low tide; I won’t miss those bastards either, come the first hard frost. The sudden turn to temps in the 60s at night reminds us that according to the bird calendar, it’s already early fall, with the south-bound migration in play, especially along the shore. This past weekend, I saw the following birds in various forays to Jamaica Bay, Prospect Park, & Dead Horse Bay, sometimes in more than one place: double-crested cormorant, great egret, great blue heron, snowy egret, black crowned night heron, green heron, yellow-crowned night heron, glossy ibis, Canada goose, mute swan, mallard, American black duck, osprey, least tern, common tern, laughing gull, herring gull, great black-backed gull, short-billed dowitcher, ruddy turnstone, semipalmated plover, American oystercatcher, lesser yellowlegs, sanderling, black skimmer, American goldfinch, American crow, barn swallow, rock dove, northern flicker, robin, catbird, starling, house sparrow, and a few other regulars I’ve forgotten.Here are a couple of pics.
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These are children’s shoe lasts. A pair makes a very nice letter holder. Last, from the Old English for “footprint,” from the Latin for “furrow” -- “more at LEARN” because you tow the line of your teacher. The definition of “last” previous to this one in my beloved Webster’s Third unabridged is a unit of weight, for up to 20,000 herring. Damn, I love dictionaries. Paper ones, books, the hand and eye making all sorts of discoveries. I also love old wood. This wood looks as supple and lustrous as old leather, when in fact, it’s hard, dense stuff.


vegas said...

Your lovely lasts remind me of my great grandfather, nicknamed Bumpy, who was a shoemaker. His name was Gaudet, which he americanized to Goodie.

M.Thew said...

Bumpy Goodie is a name to remember.