KONSTANTIN PAUSTOVSKY

Recently I found an old book by Konstantin Paustovsky called Stories and Tales About Forests.  The stories are short, meaningful and sincere;  filled with long descriptions of the morning dew in the forest, first snow or pine trees scent.  The stories have this utopian idealism, kindness, sensitivity and and unity with the world which can be found in some soviet movies, ideas and literature.  I wish I could translate some stories into English but the only one I found is in Russian.  It is called A Farewell to Summer and it is about going to sleep, waking up and finding all the world covered in snow out of the window. 

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To read a full text version of A Farewell to Summer in Russian:

 

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December 23, 2008

BROOKLYN PARROTS ON THE FIRST WINTER SNOW

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Above: Monk Parakeets in the Snow

Brooklyn parrots are wild Monk Parakeets (or Quaker Parrots) native to the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries.  The Monk Parakeet is globally very common as a pet.
There are many theories about why these parrots live in Brooklyn - from sinking ships, overturned trucks;  Hurricane Gloria in the mid-1980s.  The theory with the greatest credence among ornithologists is that a shipment of parrots destined for sale at New York area pet shops was accidentally released at Kennedy Airport in the late 1960’s . Anyway, there are lots of Quaker Parrots living in Brooklyn and for some strange reason they love it here. Maybe because the pizza crumbs are so good.  Or the art scene.  Actually, the reason these tropical parrots can survive cold winters in New York City is because they build giant commune nests in which about 10 - 15 parrots can fit in and warm each other during these winter months. 
There is a blog dedicated to Brooklyn Parrots: brooklynparrots.com illustrating parrot life. You can even take a free Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari in Brooklyn College.
Steve, the founder of Brooklyn Parrots website and blog, believes that Brooklyn parrots are not an evil “invasive species” but a welcome replacement for the Carolina Parakeet, hunted to extinction almost a century ago.  ” The last wild specimen of Carolina Parakeet was killed in Okeechobee County in Florida in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918” -wiki. I agree with him Steve .
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* Above: extinct Carolina Parakeet


December 17, 2008

CORNELL LIBRARY OF ORNITHOLOGY

cornell library of ornithology bird nest illustration
macaluay library

Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell Library of Ornithology is surrounded by Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary that is teaming with birds and plants.  More than four miles of trails wind through a variety of habitats used by birds and other wildlife. The library itself has one of the world’s largest repository of wildlife sound recordings, contains over 160,000 individual recordings representing more than 50% of the world’s bird species. When you walk into the library you see giant books of beautiful old life-size illustrations of birds, photographs of birds and long aisles on books about birds.  Cornell Library of Ornithology is an amazing place to visit.


December 14, 2008

SERGEI KOZLOV SHORT STORIES

I love short stories by russian author Sergei Kozlov.  This story is called Good Elephant (I am sorry about translation. It was translated through Babelfish). On snow covered cold February,  Hedgehog has been trying to heat the furnace for days and nevertheless he could not get up in the morning -  it was that cold in the house. “Is this a punishment? “- muttered hedgehog, putting paws into the felt boots and getting up from the bed. - Another week and I will burn all the firewood I have and freeze! ” Hedgehog shuffled burned wood, moved aside shutter and started new fire. Hedgehog started thinking about his disastrous position. “Forest is completely covered with snow”- he thought - “All the small trees are under the snow and I cannot cut down a big tree. “It would be nice if Bear came over.  He has a sharp saw and special sleds to carry firewood.  Donkey and Bear would come and say:“Hedgehog, probably you have no more firewood? Let’s go collect more! ” Hedgehog thought:  I would make them tea.. But now… Bear is probably asleep and does not even think about me… ” Hedgehog became so sad, that he tossed up two additional firewood and began to look at the flame without thinking. Furnace was burning, the house became very warm, and hedgehog no longer believed that firewood can end and that he might freeze. ” Hedgehog started dreaming: “Firewood will end and I will begin to freeze.  The elephant in the zoo will find out about this and he will come running into the forest, find my house, insert his trunk into the chimney and instantly it will become warmer from his breath. I will say: ” Thanks, elephant for giving me your heat.  Now go warm up my friend Bear - he probably also has no more firewood… Elephant will run away from the zoo each night and breathe into my chimney, and my friend Bear’s too, so we would not freeze”.  While Hedgehog was dreaming of this, the frost, wind and cold grew harsher. Hedgehog’s firewood soon entirely ended. For the last time he warmed up the house very well, piled up all the blankets on his bed, put on a wool coat and felt boots. Then, he climbed under his blanket mountain and began to wait. First it was hot, and then, when furnace cooled, it became very cold. With each hour it became increasingly colder. ” I w-w-wiish elephant would come here f-f-f-aster-r-r ! - whispered Hedgehog, rolled as a bagel under his blankets. Frozen Hedgehog could not even whisper anymore because of cold but the elephant still did not come… - Elephant-t-t! - called Hedgehog. - I am f-f—freezing… ar-r-rive, p-p-p-lease, elephant! Hedgehog called elephant three days and two nights. But on third night he became warmer. So warm that he even took off his wool coat and felt boots. This is because the cold finally started leaving. To Hedgehog, it seemed as though an enormous elephant has been walking between pine trees and breathing into his chimney.

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December 11, 2008

YENI MAO -  SIAMESE BIRD VASE

vase by yeni


design squish blog, siameese bird vase

Yeni Mao is an artist currently living and working in New York City. He works in painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. Yeni created ceramic vase that is two siamese birds with no heads.  This is a weird and extremely beautiful object that changes meaning when flowers are put into the vase. 


December 08, 2008

WALTON FORD - DRAWING THE APOCALYPSE

walton ford

walton ford

Walton Ford’s paintings are “as much a tutorial in flora and fauna as it is as a scathing indictment of the wrongs committed by nineteenth-century industrialists or, locating the work in the present, contemporary American consumer society” 


December 01, 2008

FALL AND WINTER E-GREETINGS TO YOU

charley harper, bird in the snow

Isn’t it amazing how everybody can send greeting cards through internet nowadays?  This artwork is by CHARLEY HARPER.  Happy fall and winter season!

- Ana


November 19, 2008

DIANA SUDYKA ILLUSTRATIONS

sustainable art

nature illustration

Diana Sudyka’s watercolors are amazing.  A lot of her drawings and watercolors are of birds and animals. She makes high quality, limited edition archival inkjet prints of her works on sustainable, archival, bamboo paper. 


September 10, 2008

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