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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

 
I went to a delightful children's puppet show this afternoon, the story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. I wanted to see it because there was supposed to be a variety of puppet types, and the technical aspects of puppets interest me.

Here's a long shot of the set, the puppet theater, so you can understand the staging.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Here, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (the mongoose) makes friends with the boy, Teddy. Rikki-Tikki is a hand puppet, and the operator could change from the narrator to the boy simply by wearing the mask or not.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Here is Darzee the Tailor Bird. The cobras eat one of the bird's babies. Darzee was a puppet on a stick whose mouth could open or close.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

The two cobras, Nag and Nagaina discuss what they will do since Rikki-Tikki has now destroyed their eggs. (The story was re-written to some extent, and the timeline changed, so that only one human character was needed, plus the narrator.) The snakes were stick manipulated with an articulated jaw and a hood that could spread. The bodies were probably rubber, as they could coil around easily and look quite realistic, although I thought their faces were too cartoon-ish and not evil enough.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Nag face off for a fight to the death.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

I thought the puppeteer was quite skilled, and the play believable, even though you could often see his hands. The kids in attendance had no problem with this. I watched them a fair amount too, to see how they were following the story.

Here's my take on that. Although they paid attention well, and called for Nag in unison when Nagaina requested it, I don't think the 120-year old story (Rudyard Kipling, 1894) translated well to the world-view being taught today.

The kids often giggled when the snakes were talking to each other, and some seemed to be sorry for Nag when Rikki-Tikki killed him.

And here is the clincher. Afterwards, I overheard two college-age boys discussing the play. One asked, "Why was it OK for the mongoose to kill the cobra's eggs, but not OK for the snake to kill the bird eggs?"

In this day and age of having respect for life forms of all kinds (although I'm betting these kids will gladly kill a mosquito), the reality of cobras being an ever-present deadly threat to a family living in India has been lost. The reason the story was meaningful to children and adults in the past was because there were real dangers near at hand, and of course people were going to value animals who protected them above those who sought to harm.

I missed the very beginning (wrote the time down wrong), but I think, sadly, this story would probably need introduction to help today's children relate. Perhaps that was done. I just don't know.

Literature from other ages is always valuable, but sometimes we need to educate ourselves or an audience to understand it.


Read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Trail Closed! = Good

 
Sorry about no post yesterday. I slept all morning after work Friday night. Then had to go out and do a couple of cases for the other job in the afternoon. Fell asleep at my computer after that and decided to go to bed at 8 pm. Slept right through till 6:30 this morning!

Today, I went searching for information and progress on the improvements that are being done this year to the Hart-Montague Rail Trail.

Hart Montague Rail Trail

The section between Montague and Rothbury is indeed re-paved, and that seems to be on schedule.

I rode about ten miles on a different piece, which was plenty, plenty in the heat wave we are suddenly having.

Had the privilege of helping someone who needed an assist. Quality day!

See Joan and Ellen Take an Excellent Bike Ride
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Friday, July 24, 2015

It's All I Got

 
All I have to offer today is a clear orange sunset. Enjoy.

sunset

I'm off to work in a few minutes.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lincoln Lake

 
Today I was very near Lincoln Lake, so I decided to just go take some pictures. The main road from Ludington to the state park crosses it, so it's really easy to forget about it, because it's just there all the time.

The first shot was taken into the sun, and so it isn't great. It must have also been a little hazy since these shots are muted. But I wanted to give you a general idea of the lake. It's long and narrow, just a wide place in the Lincoln River, really.

Lincoln Lake

I always tell people who don't know anything at all about plants that you can still learn some things on a nature outing. For example, you could count the shades of green and try to give them names. You can try to find different textures. The edges of Lincoln Lake would be a great place to do either of those exercises.

Lincoln Lake

Lincoln Lake

Reflections and ripples always make interesting shots.

Lincoln Lake

But this one is my favorite of the day. No question about it.

Lincoln Lake

See North Branch Lincoln River
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Favorite Vista

I can't believe I haven't shown you this before, but I'm not finding any post about it. This is one of the really good views you can get in my home county.

For anyone local, go to the corner of Brye and Blundell, then go just a bit farther north to the top of the hill and look south.

Mason County vista

Certainly you can see into Oceana County, although I'm not sure how far. I think it's possible the two lines of hills in the distance could be north and south of the Pentwater River. When you are a little farther south, near Hart, you can look north and see quite a few of the wind turbines, so the far ridge could be that one.

The odd thing is that when you look at topo maps, you don't really see those east-west ridges like that. They must be collections of small hills that blend in the distance to look like a ridge. More exploration needed.


See Wind Turbines I
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