April 19, 2012 |
What better way to welcome spring than with lambs, flowers and fluffy white geese? Charlotta Westergren proffers them all in this intriguing but somewhat muddled exhibition at Patrick Painter. Saddled with the ponderous title, “SERE: Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape,” taken from a military training program, the show gestures toward many topics -- fecundity, Christianity, torture, war -- but never quite takes a satisfying bite out of any of them. Sheep, geese and dead game, rendered in Westergren's skillful hand, evoke Old Master still lifes, photorealism, and, with their flat backgrounds, Pop art. The lambs in particular give the lie to idealized notions of fertility and rebirth, with umbilical cords dangling and hindquarters splattered with excrement.
April 17, 2012 |
CHICAGO — Swans have a seemingly placid demeanor, and their monogamous mating habits have made them a symbol of lasting love. But the creatures — generally white, with long graceful necks and a black "mask" around their eyes — are territorial and can be quite aggressive. That makes them good at driving off geese, but can also lead to disaster. Anthony Hensley, 37, encountered the uglier side of their personality last weekend in a horrific way. He tended swans that helped keep geese away from a condominium's pond near Des Plaines, Ill. Witnesses told police that a nesting swan circled Hensley's kayak early Saturday, then attacked him, toppling the kayak and tossing him into the water.
April 10, 2012 |
In 2004, California enacted a law I wrote that gave the foie gras industry until July 2012 to find an alternative to force-feeding ducks. That deadline is fast approaching. Foie gras, French for "fatty liver," is produced from the diseased and grossly enlarged liver of a duck or goose that has been force-fed grain. Multiple times each day for several weeks before slaughter, a pipe is shoved down the birds' throats and they're pumped full of mash, causing their livers to swell to more than 10 times normal size.
August 11, 2010 |
Trevor Shannahan lifts his custom-designed, hand-tuned, glittering blue instrument to his lips and plays the soundtrack to life on Maryland's Eastern Shore. " HA-RONK! " he begins. " HA-RONK! " Shannahan sways like a jazz trumpeter taking a solo. He crouches, bends at the waist, and turns to and fro, his hands fluttering as he blows a cacophony of honks, moans, purrs and growls. Close your eyes, and he sounds just like a flock of Canada geese. He is a one-man gaggle, and a young man with a dream.
August 2, 2010 |
They have their own Facebook page, where fans post photographs of them in their best light. They have loyal lawmakers who defend them against critics who say they are messy, noisy and menacing neighbors. Until recently, they had a lakefront home in one of New York's most desirable areas. But the Canada geese living in Brooklyn's Prospect Park also had the bad luck to fall on the losing side of a battle sparked by the drama of Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III. His safe landing of a US Airways jet in the Hudson River after geese flew into its engines last year made him America's newest hero and turned the ubiquitous, black-eyed birds into every flier's nightmare.
January 24, 2010 |
A 12-foot green anaconda has been captured at a Florida park, where it apparently had been feasting on waterfowl for months. The giant snake, a native of the Amazon, was spotted and captured Jan. 13 at East Lake Fish Camp by an Osceola County sheriff's mounted patrol unit. Toni Englert, who keeps horses at the park's stable, witnessed the capture. "The officers called me over and said, 'Toni, I think we know what happened to the ducks,' " Englert said. Englert had pointed out to deputies, who train at the park, that the ducks and geese were disappearing.