Friday, April 15, 2016

Gorse and magpies

Two of the things I marvel at in Ireland are Gorse and Magpies.

Gorse is a yellow flowered shrub, not as tall as wide, that seems omnipresent in Ireland. It is along all the major roadways. I was riding to Dublin on Wednesday with an Irish nun and an academic from Austria. The academic asked what the yellow flowers were and I answered "Gorse!" before Fionnula could.

She laughed. "Jim loves gorse, Georgi," she said.

And I do.

If kudzu looked like gorse people wouldn't complain so much about it.

And then there are magpies.

I went on line to see if they lived in CT and a website called 'Connecticut Critters' listed them. But on the same page their territory was listed as only on the west coast and Texas. I know I've never seen one here. They are huge birds, related to crows and as big as our crows, but with white chests and white on their wings. The rest is black and gray.

They are as common in Ireland, it seems to me, as robins in Connecticut. They always seem to be in pairs or threes. They are very fast for such large birds. I enjoy watching them.

The Irish tell me magpies are very smart, so I looked them up as well and read a couple of articles that suggested they may be the smartest birds.

They are playful and cunning.

If you are of a certain age, you might remember Heckle and Jekyll. Two magpies that were in comic books and cartoons.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.