Saturday, March 16, 2013

Herons, squirrels and flowers in Beacon Hill; We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Here are two herons, likely male and female. 

The male heron would sit atop this 14 story tree top keeping watch while the female fed below. After 20 minutes they would fly back to the nest, then repeat. Perhaps there are young being fed?

We went to Beacon Hill park 12 days ago to take pictures of the new flowers coming up through the moss and grass.

Now the sakura cherry blossoms are out but I can’t find a sunny day to take the picture. Today was cold wind and blustery.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the apartment smells of mulligan stew and beer marinated beef. Linda bought me the most beautiful cupcake I’ve eaten from the dark chocolate cloverleaf and real cream green icing to the light batter cake below. It was admired, it was kept close and then it was eaten.

If you are the creative sort, or wish to be so, March 19th is the festival of Minerva. She is the goddess of medicine, music, poety, weaving, crafts, wisdom and magic. Her sacred animal is the owl. And the 19th is a day free of toil and dedicated to arts, be it poetry or knitting, in honor of her. The trick is convincing your boss that you deserve a paid holiday due to a 2,400 year old festival. Minerva certainly part of US custom, and is on the official California symbol as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award given in the US.

Back to the Beacon Hill Visit, we met and fed a new squirrel which I named ‘Fussy.’ The name was due to his checking here and there, and then over there as well before deciding what to do with the peanut.

When he did decide to eat one, he managed to climb up to a branch directly over Linda so as to drop peanut shells pieces onto her head.

Still it was heartening to see the leaping bounce, bounce, bounce across the grass before standing up on hind legs to try and see where we were. Then it was leaping bounces onward. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day.


JaneB said...

Yay for squirrels! Spring must be on the way...

Anonymous said...

Very cool to see the pair of herons and the flowers are lovely. I hope the weather cooperates so you can get out to see the cherry blossoms. It has been cold and blustery on this side of the strait as well.

Mmmmm, mulligan stew. It sounds like a nice St. Patrick's day dinner.

Yay for the warmer weather and squirrels to feed.

Happy St Patrick's Day


D. Emerson Evans said...

"The trick is convincing your boss that you deserve a paid holiday due to a 2,400 year old festival"

Well, depending on whether or not you consider Bede a reliable authority on Germanic paganism,the festival of the goddess Eostre, now celebrated as Easter, could be nearly that old (and is a paid holiday in some parts of the country). Similarly, the Roman festival of Sol Invictus was held on the 25th of December (a federal stat!), and is possibly the origin of setting Christmas on that date. He's a bit of a youngster compared to Minerva however, only being recognized officially in AD 274.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad we were able to go to Beacon Hill park. The pictures you took turned out amazing.

And you made me feel all squishy inside when you talked about your cupcake with such affection. Hopefully I can find some more beautiful treats for you;)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Jane: it is bitter cold, but a late spring seems to be appearing.

Cheryl: Sunny the other day but too cold, went out but bitter wind, hope for a nice day tomorrow.

D Emerson Evans: Indeed. I'm sure you know I'm a big fan of Saturnalia, which is 2,800 years old, kept on the 25th, involves the exchanging of gifts and putting up green branches as Saturn is the god of time, growth and death. As part of the late festival Saturn is shown as an old man with a sickle (as the god of agriculture) with a cherub - as god of time bringing from one year to the next - which is a symbol still linked to New Years. Happy Minerva Day.

Baba Yaga said...

Hooray for getting out. You have spring! Scotland has bits of spring buried under snow.

I've seen single herons fairly often, but never a pair - or for that matter a nest. Quite a photo, that.

Anonymous said...

dear beth,
SharonMV here. L
ovely pictures. I hope you get a chance to take some photos of the cherry blossoms. The crocus are beautiful. I like early spring when it is still cold, but the trees and early flowers are blooming. That time lasts about a week down here, if it comes at all.
I've been in a slump due to illness and prolonged recovery from moving.

Are you trying to go to SakuraCon? I hope you & Linda & Cheryll get to attend.

Best to you
Love, Sharon