Sunday, October 7, 2012




Oh me,
Was there a time
When Paradise knew Eve
In this sweet guise, so placid and
So young?




I. A female Gouldian finch choosing between two possible male mates.  A fascinating article about assertive, but furtive, female Gouldian finch mating behavior is found HERE. 

II.  Adelaide Crapsey, "For Lucas Cranach's Eve" (Cinquain, 1911-13).

III.  Detail of Lucas Cranach the Elder's "Eve" (1537, oil on panel, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp). 

IV.  "The Battle of the Bird and Serpent" was painted and signed by the artists  Emeterius and Ende, with the participation of the scribe Senior, in the year 975 A.D.  A powerful example of Mozarabic art (i.e. the art created by Christians during the period of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula), it is included in Beatus' Commentary on the Apocalypse and shows a peacock devouring a serpent, a metaphor for Christ's triumph over evil.  Ende's  is the earliest surviving female artist's signature -- she signed as “Depintrix” (paintress) and “Die Aiutrix” (helper of God) -- on a Western artwork and marks an important historical milestone.  It is believed that Ende was probably a nun. 

Please note that Evelyn, the beautiful, formerly popular, generally female name that seems to derive from Eve (name etymology is complicated and confusing), means bird (apparently; some say).  The combination of having a weird intuition in that direction and wanting to show my daughter something interesting today inspired this post.


  1. I had a pair of Gouldian finches in the early 80s. When one of them died, I purchased a new mate for the surviving finch. I don't remember the details, but I do remember that one of them (probably the female) plucked out the feathers on the male's head until I had a bald Gouldian finch. It was traumatic for the bird and for me. After the last finch died, I vowed never to welcome another bird into my home.

  2. Sad about your finches. Our parakeet pair -- a male and female -- are good friends to each other and us. LONG day at the amusement park. Curtis