Friday, 9 September 2011

Once upon a time ...

... I kept "Trachemys scripta elegans" ...  the red-eared sliders.  Sometimes there were as many as four crawling all over an orange plastic tropical island complete with fake palm tree!  I do wish that pond still existed so you could admire the total kitsch that once graced the top of a bookcase.  Some didn't live all that long ... conditions were not ideal for little creatures that should have been basking in real sunlight in places where water ran free and fresh.
 This 1865 engraving is by Karl Bodmer.
So, that's where turtle collecting all began back in 1979 ...
Eventually it became clear that it really wasn't appropriate to keep the live creatures and the tank was dumped after the last of them died.
But it was not the end of turtles in my house!  I'm just thinking about the different materials represented in the collection:  beads, beeswax brass, bread, cast iron, chocolate, delft, embroidery, enamel, fabric, glass, gold, hessian, latex, marcasite, paintings, plaster of Paris, plastic, porcelain, rubber, seed pods, semi-precious stones, shells, silver, steel, stone, straw, terracotta, tin, tortoise shell, volcanic rock, wax crayon, wood ... and no doubt some have been omitted from the list!
Right from the beginning both family and friends, especially those who travelled to places where turtles live happily in the wild, brought back gifts in a wide variety of materials.  Now there continues to be a steady trickle ... people who visit the house are fascinated by the collection and invariably when they see turtles on sale somewhere they'll think of me!
Car boot sales are a rich source for finding the little fellows and many of the soft toys have come from there.  Others I've bought myself as souvenirs of visits to places as far apart as Madrid, Turkey and Italy ... none of those have featured just yet.
Christmas gives family and friends an ideal clue for suitable presents and today's jigsaw puzzle is just one example.
 He just about fills an A4 sheet of paper and is expertly carved.  The entire middle section is so interlocking that it can be held up as a piece!
The picture from directly above gives a clear idea of the beauty and detail ... but I prefer, as a photograph, this one where the camera angle is much lower.
 Both pictures were taken out of doors in the early morning light (around seven o'clock) without the need for flash.  Using white paper as a background meant that it was easy to do a colour balance and end up with something that is very true to the natural tones of the wood.
I'm sure there's more than one sermon in the jigsaw piece that needs to find its correct place ... you do realize that you have to write your own sermons here, don't you?  I'd not want to do all the work!  I might well use that as my idea for the next assembly in the local Primary School.
"Himself" was shot in the same light.  It now amuses me that he no longer runs away when the camera appears but he's not about to look at it either!  Eliot is a dog with personality.  Maybe that should be Personality with a capital "P"!  He could do with a good brush at the moment so, if there's a chance tomorrow in what is forecast to be a good day, we'll have a grooming session in the garden.  That way I imagine that there are fewer hairs in the house ... but that is entirely imagination.
So, for those of you who want an early night ... you can now go to bed happy in the knowledge that "The Rev and a Dog" have packed up for the evening and are probably going to watch television or read a book.  Well, the dog's not going to read but he'll keep me company.
It's a pity he can't come with me to visit another church tomorrow ... the people there might just be a tad horrified if I turn up with him in tow!  You can expect pictures from that building on Saturday's blog - probably.


ROBERTA said...

Ah, now we know the whole story:) Which reminds me of a story from childhood. In kindergarten we too had those small turtles in the plastic pools with the fake palm. Every day we took turns holding the turtle in our little palms. But when my turn arrived i ended up flinging the turtle across the room because it tickled my hand and I panicked....needless to say, I didn't get to hold the turtle again.

Rev Elizabeth said...

Oops! That made me laugh ... and no ... I don't think I'd have let you hold it again either.

Karen/hwy61 said...

Thanks for sharing this link. I do visit your blog fairly often but missed this post...and I also had pet turtles as a kid but then they "outlawed" them, as "they" (who? maybe the FDA?) said they caused diseases.

Rev Elizabeth said...

Karen ... I believe they carry salmonella .... not something you want crawling all over your hands!!!!
Thanks for dropping by!