Thursday, July 27, 2017

Volcanoes

I'm in Bellingham, Washington, for a few days. Since I'm not in Washington, I didn't take the same flight I used to take to Seattle. This one came from Dallas, and it came by a different route. We saw three of the Cascade volcanoes and passed very close to a fourth.

The first picture shows Adams and Hood behind it. The second is the ruined cone of St Helens. And in the last two is Ranier.





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At 9:34 PM, August 01, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

Nice shots. My wife and I flew into Seattle on our way to Alaska on our honeymoon in 2005. We got to see Mount St. Helens. Once when I flew into Seattle for work, it was clear enough to see Ranier from the airport. I didn't look real. It looked like a fake backdrop in a Star Trek episode.

 
At 11:19 PM, August 01, 2017 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

It does. It absolutely does

 
At 5:59 AM, August 03, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Try to keep cool! "Pacific Northwest threatened by hottest weather ever recorded; Seattle could hit 100":
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/08/02/pacific-northwest-threatened-by-hottest-weather-ever-recorded-seattle-could-hit-100

 

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Barsa on Sunday


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At 8:05 PM, July 25, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Barsa sez, "Look at me. See how adorable I am!"

 

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Saxon genitive ... a confusing little construction


Ukraine Today, an English-language paper from Ukraine, had this headline today ... er quite a while ago
Ukraine Today: Russian Ambassador's in Ukraine party goes off course
The party was not, of course, an "in Ukraine party". Not even "a party in Ukraine" - well, sort of, I suppose, as it was at the embassy. It was a party thrown by the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine (or "to" as we'd probably say).

But that curious possessive construction we have in English - the "Saxon genitive" it's sometimes called - actually attaches to the end of the whole phrase. Weird but true! It's "the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine's party" that went off course.

Once upon a time, I had a native Ukrainian speaker tell me that I had mistranslated a Ukrainian phrase as "the president of the United States' speech", because he wasn't the president of a speech that belonged to the United States. But Ukrainian grammar does possessives differently from English, and you really can't say "the president's of the United States speech" or "the president's speech of the United States". Those things don't mean what "the speech of the president of the United States" (which is how Ukrainian does it) means.

All those textbook examples - "the king of England's crown", "the boy next door's old jalopy", even something like "my neighbor I haven't met yet's dog"- look deeply weird to non-English speakers. But that's how English does it.

Put that 's on the last word in the entire phrase that describes the possessor.

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At 3:11 PM, July 22, 2017 Blogger Peter Threadgill had this to say...

That Saxon genitive must have driven the Latinizers bonkers

 
At 7:12 AM, July 23, 2017 Blogger ctirip had this to say...

The natural work-around, of course, is simply to rearrange the sentence in a less confusing format (confusing even to English speakers), as you intimated in the first paragraph:

"Party held by Russian Ambassador to Ukraine goes off course."

But the real unknowns remain: (1) what was the original destination of the party? (2) who was driving to party? (3) what caused the party to go off course? (4) and where did the party stop?

 
At 10:13 AM, July 23, 2017 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I don't think it is confusing to native speakers of English; the original was written by a Slavic speaker (don't know if Russian or Ukrainian). Your questions are good ones, though!

 
At 8:34 PM, July 27, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

And yet plurals in English are the opposite: Attorneys General, daughters-in-law...

 
At 10:13 PM, July 27, 2017 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yep, plural markers go on the head noun. I think that's one reason this construction confuses people.

 
At 9:34 AM, July 30, 2017 Blogger Adrian Morgan had this to say...

What's especially odd about the English genitive is that it has some characteristics of a clitic and some characteristics of an inflection. The property of attaching to the end of phrases invites a clitic interpretation, but The Cambridge Grammar rejects this on the following rather pedantic grounds (my paraphrase). Comparing "the child feeding the ducks' happiness" with "the child feeding the geese's happiness", we observe that in the former case (attached to a regular plural) the clitic is not pronounced, but in the latter case (attached to an irregular plural) it is. The Cambridge Grammar argues that this sensitivity to the morphological structure of a word disqualifies a clitic interpretation. I am more inclined to take the view that grammatical categories are convenient fictions and to accept it as a hybrid situation.

 
At 11:39 AM, July 30, 2017 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

But that's the same with plural possessive anyway. The ducks' food versus the the geese's food. And I think you're right.

 
At 8:39 PM, July 30, 2017 Blogger Adrian Morgan had this to say...

Right, but to consider only simple examples like that (what CGEL calls the head genitive as opposed to the phrasal genitive) would leave open a few loopholes, so in my summary I skipped straight to the phrasal examples. Ref: pp 480-1.

 

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Oh. What. The. Hell.

Here's a lovely book I ran across: For Such A Time. How could anybody think this book was a good idea?
"Lovely blue-eyed, blonde Jewess" gets fake papers but still ends up in Theresienstadt where she ends up falling in love with the SS-Kommandant, Arik von Schmidt. (Yeah. "von Schmidt".)

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Three more young uns

A Blue jay, an American crow - looking particularly gangly and teenagerish - and a Song sparrow.
blue jay

blue jay

blue jay

crow

crow
song sparrow

song sparrow

song sparrow

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At 11:02 PM, July 20, 2017 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

That's a lot of young birds. We have a lot of the same birds here, but I never see the fledglings, except for the unfortunate one or two that is run over on the road.

 

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Walnut Caterpillar moth

Found this guy sheltering under a planter on my patio today.
It's an Imperforate Datana Walnut Caterpillar moth, Datana integerrima. Despite their name, the caterpillars also eat the leaves of victories, pecans, and oaks; this one most likely the latter around here. Handsome guy, no?

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Barsa!

A few recent shots

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At 9:56 PM, July 16, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

We can all see who's really the boss Chez Ridger!

 

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Young birds

'Tis summer, and the fledglings are out and about.

First were the mockingbirds. They raise two, and around here and on south three, broods a summer, so their first group was out early compared to the others.Their fledglings leave the nest very early, several weeks before they can fly (instead of days); their father feeds them while their mother broods the next set. They have very speckledy breasts and short tails and wings, and often spend time in bushes.

mockingbird

mockingbird

mockingbird

mockingbird

mockingbird

Here's dad.
mockingbird

And here dad is looking very put upon and tired.

mockingbird

Young Northern cardinals are drab, usually with less red than adult females. Their bills are dark instead of orange.

cardinal

cardinal

Cooling off in 90°
cardinal

cardinal

Broody teenage boy - his bill is almost orange and he's almost all red.

cardinal

These Carolina wrens nested in one of my hanging baskets. Here the parents are feeding peanut pieces to one of their offspring.

wren

wren

The drabber one is the juvenile, following one parent around looking for seeds.

wren

This is a juvenile Eastern towhee, looking like the giant sparrow they are.

towhee

This is probably a female, being so brown...

towhee

... and this is probably her brother, getting his black wings and back.

towhee

Here is an adult Brown thrasher feeding a fledgling

thrasher

thrasher

A couple of Red-Bellied woodpeckers wait for a parent to feed them

woodpecker

And here's dad, with a beak full of suet for junior

woodpecker

woodpecker

This is a flock of Brown-headed cowbirds, mostly males but with four females and one advanced juvenile who's left his foster parents to join his own kind. That's him, at the bottom looking left.

cowbird

Another (or maybe the same) cowbird, with a female cowbird ...
cowbird

... and a chipmunk
cowbird

And here he's following a female around the feeders.

cowbird

American robins are thrushes, and the fledglings have a thrush's speckled breast before the orange comes in.

robin

robin

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Surprise!

That's right. I'm baaaaack.

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At 11:31 AM, July 16, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

*Waving enthusiastically*

How's Barsa these days? All grown up, I'd imagine.

 

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Solstice!

solstice sunrise


It's the Solstice! Summer solstice here in the northern hemisphere - nearly Midsummer Day - and winter solstice in the southern, nearly Midwinter.


Longest day or longest night: may it find - and leave - you happy.

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At 11:23 PM, June 30, 2017 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I find the summer solstice depressing, because it means the days are going to be getting shorter for the next six months. Needless to say, spring's my favorite season.

 

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