This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My garden is "for the birds"

As I was typing the title, which seemed somewhat an obvious name, I had the question of "what does that phrase TRULY mean"?  I looked into it.  The first thing I found disappointed.

Trivial; worthless; only of interest to gullible people.
This phrase is of American origin and, while still in use there, has never been commonly used elsewhere. It is US Army slang and originated towards the end of WWII. An early example of its use is this piece from The Lowell Sun, October 1944, in an interview with a Sergt. Buck Erickson, of Camp Ellis, Illinois:
"Don't take too seriously this belief that we have football at Camp Ellis solely for the entertainment of the personnel - that's strictly for the birds. The army is a winner... the army likes to win - that's the most fortunate thing in the world for America."
'Strictly' is frequently used as an intensifier, as in the example above.
'That's for the birds' is a shortened form of the vulgar version 'that's shit for the birds'. That suggests the derivation of the phrase which is the habit of some birds of pecking at horse droppings (a.k.a. road apples) in order to find seeds. Both versions were defined in an edition ofAmerican Speech from 1944:
That's for the birds. It's meaningless
Shit for the birds. Nonsense, drivel, irrelevant matter.
This held no appeal to the poet in me.  So I searched some more.  And came across this site which offered up this quote from the Bible (now you all know I am not a religious sort, but dang, this is some fine poetry!):

Isaiah 18:4 For this is what the Lord has told me: “I will wait and watch from my place, like scorching heat produced by the sunlight, like a cloud of mist in the heat of harvest.” 18:5 For before the harvest, when the bud has sprouted, and the ripening fruit appears, he will cut off the unproductive shoots with pruning knives; he will prune the tendrils. 18:6 They will all be left for the birds of the hills and the wild animals; the birds will eat them during the summer, and all the wild animals will eat them during the winter.  

This makes sense to me, makes sense in my garden.  Here are my birds (and my bees and my apples....)

This is only about half the pictures I had to share -- for some reason blogger thinks I don't have a license to load my own photos...

1 comment:

Erin said...

oooh that new camera is really working for you! Fab shots!!