Rara Avis


Birds seem to creep into my work try how I might.

I’m reminded of the Latin tag from Juvenal –

Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno. “A bird rarely seen on earth, and very like a black swan.” Juvenal chose a black swan for his comparison because the Romans had no idea that black swans even existed and so it was considered as impossible as a white crow.

So not only had Juvenal apparently never been to Australia but also not to Piazza dei Ciompi flea market in Florence. I found an eyrar of ceramic swans there today.






And while I was walking along the Arno I saw this beautiful creature.


A great white egret.




Not such a rare bird after all.

About pennimania

Artist, entomologist, grumbler.
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