Tuesday, March 06, 2007

30,000 Gallons of Green, Vegetable-Based Food Dye...

It’s going to be Saint Patrick’s Day soon, and since it involves food and beer, it’s one of the Book Elves favorite holidays. They’ve always thrown a big party to celebrate, but after last year’s “mishap”, and the ensuing court costs, they decided to do a dry run a few weeks ahead of time this year.

Now here’s the thing- it’s never a good idea to pair the phrases “Book Elves’ party preparations” and “30,000 gallons of green, vegetable-based food coloring”, especially if you live within a quarter mile of the Connecticut River...

But before the squadron of helicopters from the EPA Rapid Response SWAT Team descended and started fingerprinting everyone, the Book Elves finished this new catalog of books-

"RECENT ACQUISITIONS for March, 2007" is now available on our website or in printed format. It features 201 books and catalogs on furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, textiles, art, architecture and related fields, with highlights including-

-A nice 1782 book of decorative cyphers for silversmiths & engravers.

-Several important 19th century color books by George Field.

-A lovely Victorian facsimile of a 1677 London Merchant directory.

-A 1698 catalog of ancient Egyptian amulets.

-A 1750 poem about raising silkworms, with a marvelous engraved frontispiece.

-An important 1837 book of designs for gate houses and lodges, owned by a founder of the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's nephew!).

-An uncommon 1862 collection of Renaissance silver designs.

-A fascinating and detailed 1840s survey of trades and manufactures in Britain.

-and much, much more!

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This month's catalog also has a special feature on fakes, forgeries and frauds, a topic which has always fascinated me.

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We’ve finally begun to get some Winter weather here at Foggygates, with several snow storms in the last three weeks. As soon as it gets cold enough for the local bears to start hibernating, we put bird feeders out in the side yard and by the back deck. (We know it’s time to take them away in the Spring when we find one of the pole feeders flattened and ripped up by the bear, but that’s another story).

At this time of year we have a huge crowd of birds at the feeders, from early in the morning until dusk. But the three pairs of cardinals, several woodpeckers, bunches of wrens, finches, doves and other assorted little birds (plus half a dozen fat squirrels) are now being joined on a regular basis by a young red-tailed hawk. He first showed up a week or so ago, sitting in the tall tree behind the carriage house, and has lately taken to sitting on the railing of the deck, or in the small fruit tree we hang the feeders on just beside it. I am afraid he may not be here for the seeds...


Phoebe Fay said...

You put out a smörgåsbord for the little birdies, and they make a smörgåsbord for the big birdies. It's that spirit of giving all around. Ain't nature grand?

And the speel-cheeker in this apparently knows all the right umlaut-ification of smörgåsbord. Ain't that cool, too.

anaglyph said...

Hmmm... going by the seed->little bird->big bird spirit-of-giving analogy, should we be very wary about the tempting smörgåsbord of booky delights laid out in your store...?

(Looks over shoulder for cannibalistic librarians...)

Colonel Colonel said...

Phoebe- But I don't WANT big birds smorgasbirding on little birds in my backyard. We're going to hang a bell around the hawk's neck, like people do with cats. I don't see anything that could go wrong with that plan.

Reverend- you're just uneasy because of that giant pile of "How to Serve Man" books in the center aisle. Pay them no mind. Go have some of the fine punch we are serving in aisle 4. It is very popular, and quite unlike anything you will ever again tas... um, I mean, unlike anything you -have- ever tasted.

Mike said...

My wife feeds the birds at home. I love to watch them eat from the feeder, but honestly it is much more exciting to watch the hawks take one of them out. They seem to prefer the Mourning Doves.

Colonel Colonel said...

Mike- Back when we lived in the Boston suburbs and I raised ducks in the backyard, we had a rat who would come and steal their corn.

We named him Ricky.

One day I looked out the kitchen window and there was a big hawk, sitting on the top of the duck house, calmly skinning Ricky. It took about 30 minutes. He did a very neat job.

I can't say we missed Ricky very much...

Phoebe Fay said...

How 'bout if they just eat pigeons?

Every time I see a hawk circling over the field out back, I'm hoping he found a tasty pigeon. Either that, or a mouse. I figure winding up as hawk-lunch has to be a more dignified end for the mice than winding up in one of the traps in the garage.

Colonel Colonel said...

Phoebe- if he'll eat mice we'll invite him into the house.