Fleet of foot

Rhythm and Blues

Blue-capped cordon-bleu caught in courtship tap-dance:

More information at http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-20/super-speedy-tap-dancing-songbirds’-courtship-display-filmed/6958040

Birds do it, bees do it, we do it

Said to be the report on Fred Astaire’s screen test at RKO Radio Pictures: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.”

fred astaire

Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell in Broadway Melody, 1940

Fred Astaire

‘The secret of his popularity/Was he looked like a bus driver…’

Hear Ed Ochester read his poem Fred Astaire at https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/fred-astaire-audio-only

Tapping the light fantastic

Watch a selection of tap-dancing scenes at http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2015/feb/04/clip-joint-five-best-tap-dancing-scenes-movies-fred-astaire-chicago-the-artist

 

Patterns in flight

Flightpath pollination

Extrasensory perception: tiny sensors help farmers in Australia plan better food production (and help protect bees)

honey-bees-in-Australia

For more information see http://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2014/Bee-sensors-take-flight-to-help-farmers

 

Flying by the sun

Waggle dancing; a wonderful way to fix flightpaths for food

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ijI-g4jHg

 

Fame is a bee

Fame is a bee.

It has a song—

It has a sting—

Ah, too, it has a wing.

Emily Dickinson

Flight of the Bumblebee

Listen to and watch  Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee here:

 One of many versions available online – this is from the 1996 movie Shine, about Australian pianist David Helfgott.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other winged things

Daedalus and Icarus:

Icarus describe

from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Literature, Second Edition 1977

The Fall of Icarus:

The fall of Icarus

 The Fall of Icarus by Peter Paul Rubens, 1636. Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. Image uncredited at wikipaintings.org

 Icarus and Amelia Earhart:

…She was swallowed by the sky / Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly / Like Icarus ascending / On beautiful foolish arms…

 from Amelia by Joni Mitchell. Video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bFgxKov8Ts&feature=kp

Amelia Earhart and Electra, the aircraft in which she disappeared over the Central Pacific in 1937

Amelia Earhart and the Lockheed Model 10 Electra, the aircraft in which she disappeared over the Central Pacific in 1937

Image at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/earhart.newdocs/earhart.electra.jpeg  on Wikimedia Commons

Lepidoptera:

Lepidoptera means ‘scaly-winged’ in Greek. It is the large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies.

atlas moth

Atlas moth: an illustration from Natural History Drawings: The Complete William Farquhar Collection, Malay Peninsula 1803-1818 (Editions Didier Millet & National Museum of Singapore, 2010)

Small Moth by Sarah Lindsay

She’s slicing ripe white peaches
into the Tony the Tiger bowl
and dropping slivers for the dog
poised vibrating by her foot to stop their fall
when she spots it, camouflaged,
a glimmer and then full on—
happiness, plashing blunt soft wings
inside her as if it wants
to escape again.

Chiroptera:

Chiroptera means ‘hand-winged’ in Greek. It is the order of mammals that includes bats.

Lesser false-vampire bat, Singapore

Lesser false-vampire bat, Singapore

Image uncredited at http://www.wildsingapore.per.sg

What is it like to be a bat?

…Our own experience provides the basic material for our imagination, whose range is therefore limited. It will not help to try to imagine that one has webbing on one’s arms, which enables one to fly around at dusk and dawn catching insects in one’s mouth; that one has very poor vision, and perceives the surrounding world by a system of reflected high-frequency sound signals…In so far as I can imagine this (which is not very far), it tells me only what it would be like for me to behave as a bat behaves. But that is not the question. I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat. Yet if I try to imagine this, I am restricted to the resources of my own mind, and those resources are inadequate to the task…

Thomas Nagel, in The Philosophical Review, October 1974

Poetry with a sting in the tale:

bee journal 1

‘This book is a kind of uncut home-movie of bees. I like its oddness and hurriedness, its way of catching the world exactly as it happens in the split second before it sets into poetry…’

Alice Oswald reviewing Bee Journal

The fall of Icarus

Honey from Bartholomew’s Meadery, Denmark, Western Australia http://www.honeywine.com.au