A “Wonder” of children

Once upon a day, during one of our usual type of discussions about how things work, I gave out the fun fact that a “grouping of crows”, was called a “murder of crows”.  To this, one daughter replied that that was ironic (I think she meant characteristic).  Yes, it is characteristic and there is a reason for that.  But first, here are a few more group names for fun:

~ a Flamboyance of flamingos
~an exultation of larks
~a parliament of owls
~a leap of leopards
~an Ostentation of Peacocks :-D
~a crash of Rhinos
~a mischief of mice
~a puddling of ducks

You get the idea now, don’t you.  These are no accidental coincidences.
In the late middle ages (1486), there was published a book: Boke of Seynt Albans (The Book of Saint Albans), which was a compilation of matters that relate to “the interest of the time of a gentleman (in other less archaic words, it describes what “gentlemen” do with their time).
It is also known by The Book of Hawking,, Hunting and Blasing of Arms.  (blasing of arms refers to heraldry – family crests, etc..)  As far as I know, we don’t have those “class” distinctions here in America, with gentry vs servant classes (and in between).  Maybe we do somehow, but nothing like the arranged marriages they had in Middle Ages England (and later….and in Europe),to improve their social standing and wealth holdings.  And ne’er the classes shall intermarry – it wasn’t considered proper.  ::rolls eyes::

Anyway, this book contains an appended list of special collective nouns for animals.  These they call, The Terms of Venery .  Venery is an archaic term for hunting.  So they have listed all the terms of groups of animals that “gentlemen” hunt.  These terms are sometimes based on folk tales or superstitions so for example there is an old folktale that crows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow (and in reality, they will gladly gang up on a weaker crow and eat him when they get hungry).  So between this and the superstitious thought that crows and ravens are harbingers of death, you can see how “A Murder of Crows” came about.

They had a sense of humor in those days too, so they added collective nouns for different professions to this book.  Here are a few of those:

~a blast of hunters
~a melody of harpers
~a diligence of messengers
~a superfluity of nuns (my personal favorite)
~a subtlety of sergeants

There are many more extant group names that I won’t list.  Ok maybe a couple more since I find this so hilarious.  ~a conspiracy of Ravens, ~ a squabble of seagulls, ~a lamentation of swans, ~a barren of mules (har!), ~a leash of greyhounds, ~a cohort of zebras, ~an array of hedgehogs.

So “armed” with that ~illustration of facts, let’s think of a few that might or might not be:

~a healing of doctors
~ a chorus of canaries
~an adjustment of chiropractors
~a circuit of electricians
~a flush of plumbers
~a conduit of pipefitters
~a comfort of mothers
~a bleeding of street gang members
~a teapot of British
~a rhetoric of politicians
~a polyphony of musicians
~a sanctuary (or is it sometimes a sanctimony?) of Christians
~a photosynthesis of plants
~a composite of police sketch artists
~a depression of minor keys
~an acoustic of ceiling panels
~a delight of bakers
~a segue of symphonies
~an instruction of school teachers

do I have the right idea?

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Lunar Perigee

(pronounced with a hard “g” as in juice)


We have just changed the time again.  I love getting the extra hour back, and bright mornings again, but evenings now feel like we have slipped into a pocket of darkness for the winter.  Sort of an emotional hibernation.   So we look up. 

The Moon revolves around the Earth in an elliptical orbit.  This means it is sometimes closer to the Earth than other times.  The point of the orbit closest to the Earth is called the Perigee. Conversely, the point of the orbit furthest from the Earth is called the Apogee.  The moon will be at Perigee on November 14.   This would be a very ordinary event, since it happens about each month, but it is notable that this particular time, it will be closer than it has since 1948, and won’t be again until 2034. 

Lunar phases do not sync with its approach to Perigee or Apogee.  When a full moon occurs close to the moon’s perigee, it is known as a Supermoon.  This particular one will become full within about two hours of perigee making it sort of an extra supermoon.  Moon rise will be the best time to go out (or look out) to see this night’s moon since near the horizon, illusion mixes with reality to make a low hanging moon that appears unnaturally large.

These regular rotations and revolutions give order and balance to our universe.  This is so necessary on so many levels, the least we can do is watch, pray, appreciate.  We sometimes struggle for order and balance to our lives and our thinking; so to look to our Creator to help us maintain that order and balance is wise.  We look up in gratefulness, for what He has done, not so we can imitate the balance and order on our own strength, but to ask Him to accomplish that in our hearts and lives.

Tides are mostly generated by the moon’s gravitational pull, so at the perigee, the moon pulls harder, producing a Spring Tide.  Don’t get too excited though, it doesn’t mean we get spring, nor does it (necessarily) happen in spring.  The word”spring” in this case is merely a synonym to “jump”, or “leap”.   So until the “season of spring” returns and we are released from the pocket of darkness, we will look for other fascinating occurances in our universe.

So now the mystery has been snatched away :-) , enjoy the upcoming supermoon.  Meanwhile, I have just entered perigee to the coffee pot. I think I can reach it now.

Quite Sincerely, Pam.

Quite Sincerely, Pam.