Collage of a Magnolia grandflora by Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (1700-1788)
First of all what about that name? Maybe today we can all call try it on for size? Good idea. Yes, nice to meet you--my name is Sally Granville Pendarves Lloyd-Jones The First (somehow it needs that end bit on).
Anyway. Stop this. The point is... Mary Granville Pendarves Delany did this amazing piece of work.
But here's the thing: she was a late bloomer--she began her life's work at 72. So there's hope for us all.
She created what she called floral "mosaicks"--precursors to collage--and she did almost 1,000 of them. Aren't they beautiful? and somehow so modern. But then truly excellent things tend to break out of time altogether.
Rose-ringed parakeet in it's tree--or someone else's (wouldn't want to mess with him)
Photo: Jean-Louis Le Moigne
Areas surrounding London have been invaded by a Green Lurgy. Parakeets. (There were approx 1,500 in 1995 and now there are 30,000). No one knows why the population explosion.
They come from India and Sub-Saharan Africa--but they didn't get to the UK by flying. Most people agree, it all began with someone letting their exotic birds out of their cage. WHO LET THE BIRDS OUT?
But they aren't exotic pets anymore. They are pests. Threatening crops, monopolizing garden bird feeders, being loud and noisy and waking all the children up. Basically annoying everyone.
And now they could be threatening British birds.
The British birds are more restrained (of course they are) and I imagine more polite too? But not the wily parakeet: no. He is eating up all their berries and taking over all their trees. For instance, the nuthatch is threatened since they both nest in holes in old trees.
"Project Parakeet" is underway to get to the bottom of it all. The NYT quotes one student: " 'I saw one have it with a jackdaw,' she said, referring to a British crow that is itself no shrinking violet. 'The Jackdaw lost.' " Creeeeeepy. Remind you of The Birds anyone...?