A2Z 2021 – Birds – Lark

Featured Photo by Dimitris Vetsikas

  • Physical Description: The horned lark is a small brown bird with a buff chest, a black mask, and a black patch surrounded by pale yellow on its throat. This bird has two small feather crests on either side of the top of its head, giving rise to its name. Larks are small to medium-sized birds, about 8 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 12.5 inches. They weigh about 1.5 ounces
  • Geographic Distribution: The horned lark is the only true lark native to North America. It is found from northern Canada and down to the southern United States and Mexico
  • Environment: This bird favors grassy, open plains.
Horned Lark Image Credit: Pinterest

Myths, Folklore, and Cultural Associations

Folklore tells us that the lark sings and flies as close to heaven as possible to demonstrate its joy at being alive, something we evoke when we say that someone is “as happy as a lark.” The collective noun for a group of larks is an “exultation,” a beautiful reminder of the joy associated with this bird.

Larks were once considered game birds, and were eaten as part of luxurious feasts. The cheery French-Canadian folksong “Alouette” is about plucking a lark, a fact that astonishes many people when the words are translated for them.

A “lark is a term for a playful romp or fun activity, often perceived as irresponsible in some way. The word lark is also used to describe a person who functions best when he rises early in the morning and goes to bed early.

The Colorado state bird is the prairie lark bunting, which is actually a member of the sparrow family. The meadowlark, the state bird of Kansas, is not a true lark either; it belongs to the Sturnella genus, which also includes some blackbirds.

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

If you see a lark, it could be telling you to cast off the shackles of responsibility for a bit and go on a figurative lark. Play hooky; visit the zoo, the aquarium, or the museum. Get some ice cream, or treat yourself to a new book and a full-fat latte. Do something out of the ordinary, something you’ve always wanted to do but felt wasn’t dignified enough, or something you couldn’t possibly do because you were too grown up.

The lark can also be telling you to experience more joy in your life. Are you working so hard that you’ve forgotten how to have fun? Think of the image of the skylark, flying as high as it can while singing in sheer exultation. You can figuratively sing out to celebrate the things you love in your life. The lark may be reminding you that you do, in fact, have things to sing about.

Associated Energies: Joy, celebration, playfulness
Associated Season: Summer
Element Associations: Air
Color Association: Brown, beige

REFERENCE: Birds, a Spiritual Field Guide, Explore the Symbology & Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Reflections

I know the author of this book said that her book wasn’t meant an exhaustive reference, but I realized the focus of her geographic distributions is limited to the North America region often. I know that there are larks all throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

There are so many different types of larks out there. I thought this Magpie looked like a skunk! 🙂

Magpie Lark Image by picman2 from Pixabay

Yes! I’ve been working very hard as of late. My face is breaking out as if I was a teenager again. However I’m planning a trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns with some friends for my birthday in a few weeks. It’s been a long while since I went spelunking in a cave. I’m also looking forward to a live Q&A session with the author of the book, The Midnight Library.

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Christopher McCandless

I think of how fascinated I am by so many pictures and angles of sunsets and sunrises even though it’s just one sun. In “The Midnight Library”, there’s was a quote about fish that makes me think about how important it is for us to have fresh experiences.

“Fish get depressed when they have a lack of stimulation. A lack of everything. When they are just there, floating in a tank that resembles nothing at all.”

Haig, Matt. The Midnight Library (p. 83). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Maybe the sound of wood larks would help me mediate and relax a bit, before I take on my next assignment. 🙂

Outstanding Blogging Award – Culture Shocks

Thank you!

Featured Photo by Clifford Photography on Unsplash
Jyotsna Shenoy at Art Psycho nominated me for the “Outstanding Blogging Award”!

RULES:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (very important: see why in step 5)
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

This award was originally created by Colton Beckwith

Jyotsna’s Questions:

Which book(s) have you read / are going to read in the last/next 10 days? Any books released in 2020 that you would like to recommend me?
My next post will be about all the books I’ve been “skimming and sampling”, but not quite diving in. For me, some books are like a snack rather than a feast.

However, my answers for this specific question are:

In the past 10 days, I’ve read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Lee’s cover is very beautiful and rather intriguing to me.

The next book I’m reading is “The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win” by Maria Konnikova. It was published June 23, 2020. I don’t know if I can recommend it yet, but I love card games and curious to see what wisdom Maria has to share!

Image Credit: French Poker News

State a fun fact about you that makes you stand out in any generic crowd, do you have any rebellious feature that makes a point in your bio?
I don’t know if this makes me stand out as many high school students in my class were expected to learn this, but I memorized the first ten lines of the Canterbury Tales in Middle English and secretly enjoyed it.

The Prologue is the first 30 seconds

I also really enjoyed the learning process of creating my own illuminated texts one autumn season, and wouldn’t mind taking a calligraphy class! Despite its impracticality, I enjoy the visual aesthetics of fancy penmanship.

As for the second part of this question about any rebellious features… I read this article by Personality Growth and was intrigued by its title, “Is Personal Responsibility the New Counter Culture?” This question resonates with me because my own sense of personal responsibility has caught people around me off guard sometimes.

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

There were times when my parents and I didn’t see eye to eye, but I didn’t rebel much against them except when it came to defending a few unconventional friendships that I’ve had. I guess I love reading about rebellious individuals and learning how they think by listening to their stories, but I don’t really participate in “typical” rebellious activities.

Though I consider myself well-behaved and well-mannered, sometimes, I think I shock people when I support highly idiosyncratic or bohemian individuals. This pondering leads me to think of this quote below:

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

When I think of this quote, I think there are many interpretations. The link I attached to Laurel’s name summarizes what her intention was when she said this. Focusing not on whether women should misbehave in order to be memorable, but on the fact that there are many women who have done remarkable things throughout history yet are not recorded or documented. That’s slowly changing with social media and more female representation.

Give away a couple of your favorite latest Netflix series or Anime that you would want me to watch?

I can offer some variety for you. 😉 I don’t think I can say that these shows are my favorite of all time, but the latest Netflix series that have caught my attention as of late are: The Good Place, Mr. Robot, The Crown, Agents of Shield, and Chuck. Some are hilarious comedies filled with action and others are somewhat dark and intriguing.

Image Credit: https://wallpapercave.com/w/wp1865491
https://wallpapercave.com/w/BVJEsby

As for anime, I’ve been enjoying The Dragon Prince and The Vinland Saga. 🙂

Dogs or cats (or a third option)…and why?
I love petting other people’s dogs and cats, but I don’t think I could be an owner of either. I enjoy birds though! Lovely morning chirps!

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

Name 3 snacks that figure in your cheat diet!
Fried chicken, Crème de Pirouline Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers, Nutty bars!

What are your pet peeves (top 3)?
I think my pet peeves shift around every time someone asks me this question on an award. Right now though, they are 1) Passive aggressive behavior, 2) Bigots, 3) Complainers

For how long could you possibly unplug and stay clear from any social media? (time in minutes/hours/days?)

Some are more easier to stay away than others. I can stay away from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for months. It’s more difficult for me to stay away from LinkedIn, WordPress, and YouTube.

My Questions:
(Inspired from https://icebreakerideas.com/icebreaker-questions-biggest-list-ever/)

  1. If you were sent to live on a space station for three months and only allowed to bring three personal items with you, what would they be?
  2. Be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
  3. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?
  4. What is the best gift you ever received?
  5. What is the funniest prank ever played on you?
  6. What was the best museum/gig/ play/game you have ever been to?
  7. What is the most bizarre encounter you have had in life (at work, personal, from travel, with friends)?

My nominees

Image by floherrou0 from Pixabay

I think you guys are all troopers for blogging at all during a pandemic season. You all are invited to entertain the rest of us with these questions if you wish! Cheers! 😀