Monday, October 31, 2011

Owl's well that ends well

An award winning picture book.
Have it read to you on Youtube!
Who? Close as darkness.
Who? Whose cold voices
trembling in the trees?

The owls are calling.
Ice in their voices.
Moon in their glittering eyes.

Cocooned in dreams
my sleep troubled
by the owl's calling

till the black throat
of the early cock splits
night for the furious sun

to spring up singing.


My daughter showed me this freaky owl awhile back and I have been saving it to share with you now.  I am not sure it is for real. Make sure you watch until the end, for the most surprising transformation!

 Transforming Owl

Fellow Richard Armitage fan Ana Cris also mentions a certain type of owl in her post called: I'm Not Going Out There on her new blog La Loba :A jornada de uma alma (Wolf Woman: A soul's journey). She posts twice - first in English and next in her own language of Portugese. I was introduced to Ana Cris where she is a frequent commenter over at Servetus's blog, Me + Richard Armitage. It is lovely to meet RA fans from all over the world -- Ana Cris is from Brazil!

One of the most famous bird artists would have to be John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Canadian naturalist painter Robert Bateman is famous for his realistic depiction 
of animals in their native habitat.

Native Canadian artists paint in a style known as Woodland.  I like this Anishanabee artist's depiction of an owl. This artwork by Robert Kakegamic can be found in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Wahsa Gallery.

  Here is an awesome website of arts and crafts and wonderful things all to do with owls!

 Probably Canada's most famous owl of all, wasn't a real owl, or even what he appeared to be. The man known as Grey Owl (1888-1938) was thought (by white society) to be of First Nations origin.  He was actually born Archibald Belaney in England and dreamed of coming to Canada since he was very young to live his life as a native person.  He finally arrived in Canada in 1906. He lived with the Ojibway peoples in Quebec and Ontario and learned much from them.
After several failed relationships he met a young woman who had a huge influence on him. Named Anahareo, she was of Mohawk and Iroquois descent and much younger than he was when they married  She persuaded him to give up trapping for a living and instead write about his experiences.  Grey Owl's writing had a huge influence on the conservation movement.  His log cabin home where he lived while writing is a historic site in  Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan.

Born Archie Belaney, known as Grey Owl

A movie was made in 1999 starring Pierce Brosnan. Although it was quite factual, I couldn't quite believe Brosnan in the role as he was just a bit too movie star beautiful to seem real.

If the movie is ever remade, I would vote Richard Armitage for the role!  He is a better character actor and can easily transform himself (like that owl!) to fit into any role!

Do you see the resemblance?


Owl and the Pussycat is a very famous nonsense poem by Edward Lear, published in 1871.  Beatrix Potter was fascinated with Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat and even did her own illustration of the poem which is on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. Click here to see it.
 This title was also used for a movie made in 1970 starring Barbra Streisand and George Segal.  This one is definitely not for the kids! It's pretty racy and very dated but it looks like it would be good for a chuckle.  Here is a trailer:

Guardians of Ga'hoole is a series of children's books written by Katherine Lasky. It is a fantasy adventure about a group of owls who are on a quest for justice and must escape danger from the evil usurpers of the kingdom. Zack Snyder made the first three books into a movie last year.  I hope you enjoy this preview which highlights a song by Owl City.

Take to the Sky / by Owl City from the movie Legend of the Guardians (2010)

Here are a couple of cartoon owls from Disney movies you will probably remember:

Winnie the Pooh's Owl

Archimedes from Disney's The Sword in the Stone


When I was in Leeds, UK last summer I was fascinated by all the gorgeous owl statues everywhere I looked in the middle of the city! I took lots of pictures as it seemed very unusual to have a city mascot (especially of an owl).  According to Wikipedia, the owl symbol is part of the city's coat of arms, established in 1666.
This one shows 3 silver owls which are attributed to the coat of arms of Leeds' first city alderman Sir John Saville. The sheep in the center symbolizes Leeds' history as a center for the wool trade. This coat of arms has not been used since 1921, as it has been replaced by a newer design.

 I enjoyed my visit to Leeds and would love to return some day.

In the Harry Potter universe O.W. L. stands for Ordinary Wizarding Level and it is type of test or examination which must be passed in order to become a wizard.

Owls play an important role in the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling. They are the messengers and every wizard must have one!

Hedwig the Snowy Owl from the Harry Potter movie series

Now here is a wizard who performs magic nearly on a daily basis for me!  
I have him in costume for Halloween, so perhaps he is not quite as attractive as usual. 
But at least he looks better than his sidekick! Can you tell whooo that is?

Happy Halloween to OWL of you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Armitage Fable

The North Wind and the Sun

A dispute arose between the North Wind and the Sun. Each claimed to be more powerful than the other. They agreed to a contest—the winner would be whoever could make a Traveller take off his cloak.

Sun or wind - I'll take my coat off
when I'm good and ready!

(Which Traveller?  Well, guess who?!)

The Sun retired behind a cloud and the North Wind tried his power first. 

He blew with all his might, but the Traveller responded by wrapping his cloak even more tightly.
Feels like Winter is coming to the
Northern hemisphere.

When it was the Sun’s turn, she beamed gently upon the Traveller. The Traveller, warmed by the Sun’s rays, unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders.

Then the Sun shone even more brightly, and the Traveller happily took off his cloak.
Ah! Luckily, it's Spring in New Zealand!

(Photos from the screencap galleries at Project Magazine photoshoot July 2011. Final picture from Captain America screening in NYC July 2011.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn Songs

Autumn Song

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Autumn Music (1963) by Isabel McLaughlin (1903-2002)
Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems--not to suffer pain?

 Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
 How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
 Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thin 
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

Except for nature's glorious display of colour, this time of year -- with darkness falling ever earlier and colder weather descending, can seem rather depressing for some people.  No wonder then, that the poetry and music which has been inspired by it is often melancholic.

These two songs performed by Gordon Lightfoot on one of his earliest albums have been favourites of mine forever!  In fact, I dearly love the entire album Lightfoot! and have referred to it before in an earlier post. But I did not realize until very recently that this next song was not written by Lightfoot but by Phil Ochs. If you are not already familiar with the work of Phil Ochs I urge you to click on his name (which is highlighted) above the following video. The link will take you to a Wikipedia article about him.  I will admit, although I had heard of him, I was not aware of the range of his work or his lasting influence.

Changes / by Phil Ochs (sung by Gordon Lightfoot)

This song is so simple and pure.  It is a like a hymn of benediction.

Peaceful Waters / by Gordon Lightfoot

I have collected some very autumn looking scenes to make a collage from the
BBC's Robin Hood with Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne.

Guy of Gisborne, the character portrayed so realistically by Richard Armitage in the BBC's rather campy production of Robin Hood 2006-2009 undergoes his own fall from grace. Luckily he redeems himself in the end.

When You're Falling: a Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) fanvideo / by Delicateblossomvideo

Many of us who have seen his work, have fallen for the talent and dedication to his craft, of Richard Armitage, (not to mention his amazing good looks) and even more amazingly the shy humbleness and good humoured generosity of his personality. Many fans came to know his work in Robin Hood as Guy of Gisborne. Even though he played a "bad guy" who struggled and failed to win the heart of Maid Marian, he was able to capture the hearts of many fans.

Falling Into You / by litteraes

Friday, October 14, 2011


Maintaining a blog can be quite a lot of work, especially if you are like me, and want to make sure all the links still point to the proper place and the videos haven't been removed. I check some of my older posts now and again, especially if I notice some extra traffic there.  Recently I saw that Liisake's fanvid about Lucas North to the tune of Coldplay's Spies was no longer available. I sent her a message to see if she had uploaded it anywhere else, but I haven't heard back yet.   Just today, I happened upon another vidder's version of the song done using clips from several seasons of Spooks / MI-5. Richard Armitage's Lucas North character features prominently in it, but it also includes many of the other actors from the series, both past and present.

The video was uploaded last month, but it hasn't received very many views yet.  Here it is now, for your enjoyment.  To see more fanvids featuring Coldplay songs, see my earlier post Fanvidding with Coldplay.

Spies / Coldplay (Video by PrinceZukoFanGirl)

To anyone out there who notices that my links and /or videos are no longer working, I would appreciate very much hearing from you so that I can try to fix it. You can contact me if you click on my profile, in the top right sidebar.  Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Give Thanks for Gizzy!

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I was wondering if I even would bother with a post this year.  I figured I had pretty much covered everything I wanted to say about this holiday with last year's post.  Then, a miracle appeared in my email!  My graphically-talented friend (who wishes to remain nameless) sent me this lovely concoction to celebrate the special day.

It's things like this, that make me very thankful for friends from near and far.

I am also thankful for our shared interests and mutual admiration of the man who brought Guy of Gisborne to life!

And speaking of Sir Guy of Gisborne, here is another treat I discovered in my email today!  Since I subscribe to quite a few accounts on Youtube of fan vidders I admire, I received notice that PIRRA27 had uploaded a new video.  It is a very clever compilation of interviews of Richard Armitage where he discusses his portrayal of the Gisborne character.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers, and to any American readers, let this just whet your appetite for your own holiday next month.  Any other Harvest festivals happening out there in the big wide world? Tell me about your traditions...