Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unless It's A Fish

My Mom gave me a really lovely set of dessert plates. I do mean absolutely lovely--the sort of thing that I admire to such lengths that I am very nearly inspired to invite hordes of people over just so that I may let them eat cake.

As you can see in the picture on the left, the aforesaid plates are of the intriguing, "Oh-this-old-thing-we-tore-out-of-a-naturalist's-notebook," pattern, which truly happens to be a favorite theme of mine for prints, be they floral or faunal. I mean, a splendid cake is a splendid cake, but who would not rather have their cake, and egret too?

I am just feeling a little conflicted about this particular pattern, however. The best parts of such arrangements are invariably the tantalizing scraps of field notes and encyclopediesque entries that fill in the spaces between the sketches. Just as invariably, such entries are incomplete. The one above, for instance, runs artistically off the edge of the plate, so you can read only enough about some half-named creature (Eastern. . Fancy Copperplate Squiggle: scientific name Sialia si--) to make it sound rather astounding. It can boast a mighty stature of seven inches. It does. . .something in south Manitoba. Evidently whatever it does involves gurgling, and holes. To my mind sprang a vague and fearsome picture of the prairies of Manitoba, stretching in an endless golden sheet from horizon to horizon--and absolutely riddled with dark burrows, wherein dwell, and gurgle, the fierce, yet seldom-seen Sialia si. I was more than a little miffed when I discovered that the people who made the plate were not introducing me to a vocal, land-dwelling moray eel, but were most likely only starting rumours about Sialia sialis, otherwise known as the Eastern bluebird.

Still, until I get just a bit more clarification on the gurgling bit, I don't think I shall be taking any extended walks through the more southerly bits of Manitoba.


Elizabeth in Alaska said...

Hilarious, Molly. And I love the pattern, even if they do leave you wondering. ;)

Molly said...

Thanks, Elizabeth! If you find yourself down this way, you are hereby invited for cake! I have decided a little ice-cream-on-the-side might solve the plates' ominous deficiences. . .