Ravens Go On Killing Sprees Across Britain

Interesting article… from May 9th

More than one “unkindness” of ravens has attacked farm animals across Britain, partially eating them alive.
A growing number of farmers across Britain are discovering livestock that have been attacked and eaten alive by groups of ravens.
The large birds, which are protected across the nation, have left many of the animals still alive and in agony after having eaten their eyes, tongues and soft underbellies.
Witnesses told the Western Mail that the birds flock together to attack the animals, either killing them or leaving them with agonizing injuries.
And farmers fear the birds are becoming bolder, attacking adult livestock as well as the young.
“The attacks are so horrific that they’re causing mental suffering to people who find the animals,” Johnny Hall, of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, told the Observer.
Other farming union leaders say the sudden rise in attacks is due to European regulations, which mandate that dead livestock be disposed of in licensed animal disposal facilities instead of being left out for scavengers to feed on.
Ravens traditionally eat such carcasses, but they are also known to prey on small mammals, including dormice, voles and rabbits.


[no-stal-juh, -jee-uh, nuh-]
a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time: a nostalgia for his college days.
something that elicits or displays nostalgia.
1770–80; < Neo-Latin < Greek nóst(os) a return home + -algia -algia

Related forms
nos•tal•gic, adjective
Nostalgia is a GRE word.

Example Sentences
• He dismissed nostalgia and sentimentality to focus strictly on music itself.
• If you move frequently enough, you’ll lose the nostalgia soon enough.
• Behind the nostalgia lies growing inequality.
World English Dictionary
1. a yearning for the return of past circumstances, events, etc
2. the evocation of this emotion, as in a book, film, etc
3. longing for home or family; homesickness

[C18: New Latin (translation of German Heimweh homesickness), from Greek nostos a return home + -algia]

Word Origin & History

1770, “severe homesickness” (considered as a disease), Mod.L. (cf. Fr. nostalgie, 1802), coined 1668 by Johannes Hofer as a rendering of Ger. heimweh, from Gk. nostos “homecoming” + algos “pain, grief, distress” (see -algia). Transferred sense (the main modern one) of “wistful
nos•tal•gia definition
Pronunciation: /nä-ˈstal-jə, nə-, nȯ-; nə-ˈstäl-/
Function: n
1 : the state of being homesick
2 : a wistful or excessively sentimental sometimes abnormal yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition
nos•tal•gicPronunciation: /-jik/
Function: adj
nos•tal•gi•cal•lyPronunciation: /-ji-k(ə-)lē/
Function: adv
nostalgia nos•tal•gia (nŏ-stāl’jə, nə-)
1. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
2. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.
nos•tal’gic (-jĭk) adj.

No matter what anyone says, no matter how you define it, I miss home more than anyone will ever know.  The only real question left to ask is this, can I find my way home if it never existed?

Only time will tell.

It’s a start…

I’ve arrived

 Well New York, I’m here, so watch out!

Now, if only I can find my dad.

I’m going to start this blog because what else do I have to lose, other than my mind in this place???  That and maybe, just maybe, dad will do better than me and figure out that in this time and place, people put everything out there for the whole wide world to see.

Maybe he’ll see this and leave a comment, that or look me up.

Dad, if you’re reading this, and I hope you do.  I love you.

I don’t even know where to begin, other than at the beginning.  I’ve been wandering the streets here for more than six months.  Man, I get hungry sometimes.

People here are so mean.  If I didn’t know any better I’d say I was invisible.  No matter what though, I’m here, so deal with it all you ‘better-than-evers’.

What a freaking mess this city is, it’s so big and crowded, with more people than I’ve ever seen in my whole life.  I don’t know how I’m going to find my dad in all this.

BTW- (that’s ‘by the way dad’) Maggie helped me figure all this ‘computer’ stuff out, that and the internet.  They have all kinds of what she calls ‘internet cafe’s ‘ set up for anyone to use.  She’s the one who told me I needed to get myself out there, use my voice, or my fingers in this case.  I think I’ll keep on posting here just in case.  Talk to you all later.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.


Supposed to be an antidote against lightning, because it was the tree of Apollo. Hence Tibe’rius and some other of the Roman emperors wore a wreath of bay as an amulet, especially in thunder-storms. (Pliny.) 1

“Reach the bays—

I’ll tie a garland here about his head;
’Twill keep my boy from lightning.”

The White Devil.

The withering of a bay-tree was supposed to be the omen of a death. 2
“’Tis thought the king is dead. We’ll not stay—
The bay-trees in our country are withered.”

Shakespeare: Richard II., ii. 4.

Crowned with bays, in sign of victory. The general who obtained a victory among the Romans was crowned with a wreath of bay leaves.

3. Bay. The reason why Apollo and all those under his protection are crowned with bay is a pretty fable. Daphn , daughter of the river-god Penos, in Thessaly, was very beautiful and resolved to pass her life in perpetual virginity. Apollo fell in love with her, but she rejected his suit. On one occasion the god was so importunate that Daphn fled from him and sought the protection of her father, who changed her into the bay-tree. The gallant god declared henceforth he would wear bay leaves on his brow and lyre instead of the oak, and that all who sought his favour should follow his example.

4.The Queen’s Bays. The 2nd Dragoon Guards; so called because they are mounted on bay horses. Now called The Queen’s.

5. Bay. The colour of a horse is Varro’s equus badius, given by Ainsworth as, “brown, bay, sorrel, chestnut colour.” Coles gives the same. Our bayard; bright bay, light bay, blood bay, etc.

The Mourning

This is one of the (3) major paintings, aptly named ‘The Mourning’.  Readers familiar, may find the following interesting:

According to Henson, as he droned on behind her, his finger pointing out inconsistencies in dress and painting styles, these few paintings have never been seen, mostly due to the amount of damage they received during a monastery fire some 200 years ago, but also at the direct request of the current Queen.  (According to Henson there was some sort of shame or history regarding the young Monarch, history and gossip he knew little of, but would have liked to investigate.)  Two other portraits she was shown as well.  One of a castle, or some such similar structure, cast in shadow and situated alongside of a coastal line.  There were woods nearby, and in the fields, dancing stag and deer.  A shadowed figure seemed to haunt the battlements, gazing out over the field towards a lone figure seen to be reclining against a series of stones near the shore.  The figure, female in stature, seemed to be at loss, showing great sorrow, staring out over the waves and sea.  All in all, this painting seemed to express great grief to her, as if the figure in the painting had suffered a great loss and heart wrenching sorrow.

It was aptly titled, The Mourning.

Cast of Characters- Heir of Nostalgia

Characters & Important People (15)- I’ve put together a list of Major characters from Heir of Nostalgia.  I’d love to hear comments or take questions.  Enjoy!

Phillip-as described by Theo upon meeting him for the first time.: ‘Standing this close to him, I could smell the street all over him, a mixture of car exhaust and stale cigarettes- there was something else as well, and this something reminded me of the words wicked and wild. The cold, wet scent you bring in with you, right after you come in from playing outside on a cold winter’s day. All of this wrapped up in a threadbare corduroy jacket, ratty red-tailed gloves, and a tousled mane of the blondest hair I’d ever seen.’
Maggie/Magpie-Theo meeting Maggie for the first time outside the Majestic Theater: She must have been all of sixteen going on thirty, slender as a reed, dressed in scuffed and torn blue jeans, same sort of coat as the boy had on- second-hand times ten -gloves, a gold cross around her neck, and a dirty blue and white stocking cap pulled down over a chaotic mess of reddish blond hair, chunkily cut and spiked. She too was pale, like the snow falling around us. Her eyes, way too big for her face, hugged the shadows beneath her brows for protection; her lips were drawn and thin. She either disapproved of everything or was considering a pout.Emo Bratz or Riot grrl??
Theo Valerian- introducing himself to Phillip and Maggie- inside Leo’s Diner: ‘I’m forty-one; and I work as a Design Engineer for Clearinghouse- an instate Engineering firm -which means I get paid a lot to draw pictures on a computer. At the moment I live alone, except for Thumper my Scottish terrier. Oh yeah, and I also like to take long walks on short beaches while reading poetry…” (not really on that last one.)
Thumper- Theo’s Scottish terrier: When he gets excited he doesn’t wag his tail from side to side like most dogs, he ‘thumps’ it up and down on the floor like a club. Get it, Thumper?
Lycan- as described by Theo: The current owner of Leo’s. Leo’s owner was tall, built hard as steel and thin as a rail. Perched on the top of his head was a crown of bushy auburn-black hair, which often times drifted down over his left eye. As if his lady-killer good looks weren’t dangerous enough, he was also blessed with one of those year round tans, the kind that generally ticks off the rest of us ‘rice white summer people’. The only other distinguishing mark about him would had to have been the pale blue image he had tattooed on the right side of his neck, the one that looked like a giant bird rising from a pile of fiery ashes. He called it a Phoenix.
Kaelynn Carroll: Curator of the New York Museum of Art. Fiancée of Theo Valerian. 31 years old, auburn hair, brown eyes. The love of Theo’s life…
Feathers- as described by Theo upon his first run-in: ‘I turned to face our assailant- who was nothing more than a boy himself, maybe sixteen, with wild black mane for hair and deep dark eyes set in a long pale face. At first he appeared to be wearing nothing more than rags, like the others before him. The entire time he was talking he just stood there with his mouth hanging open as if gasping for air.’
Aaron- Theo & Kaelynn’s neighbor: My next door neighbor was at least six and a half feet tall, setting a little over two hundred and eighty pounds, with salt and pepper hair and forearms the size of tree branches. Add to this his menacing looks, and a nose that seemed to meander back and forth across his face like it had been broken a bit too many times, and here was a man few would argue with.
Fallon- a man hanging with Lycan at the Diner. Theo’s frist meeting.: The man with him, the one who chose to remain standing, was average height and build, hair running thin, with a face only a mother could love. In fact, the only thing that truly stood out about him, other than his ‘blandness’ was his demeanor, he reeked ex-military.
The woman in Red: Her eyes, one a pale watery blue, the other as black as night, worked their way up to mine. Her hair lay in matted clumps about her head; it had once been blond, only now appeared gray and streaked, darkened in places with grime and old sweat. The clothing she wore, mere rags, patched and faded in countless places, strewn and torn. She wore a combination of coats and old blouses, as well as the remains of, what I swear to this day, was an old ballroom dress, a fancy thing, lace and stitching… pearls, the whole nine yards. Though the last time anyone would have worn anything even close would have been about a century ago.
Sir Fredrick Henson- Director of Antiquities and the Curator: Henson was a short, balding man, whose bushy gray eyebrows easily overshadowed his hazel-green eyes. He also seemed entirely out of place, in his dark flannel slacks and overly-sized gray wool sweater, especially amidst all the brightly clothed tourists and leather clad ‘soccer hoodlums’ hanging about. Like most Englishmen his age, he seemed to be on the verge of a perpetual glare of displeasure, his forehead creased deeply in a frown… as if there was nothing left in the world to be happy about.
Nicholas Hilliard: 16th Century painter who had lived in London during the time of Mary the First and Queen Elizabeth. For the better part of a century, Hilliard’s works had only been shown in Buckingham Palace, and then, only to the royal family. His panel portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, known as the ‘Phoenix’ and the ‘Pelican’, both dating back to the late 1570’s, are perhaps two of his most famous works, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth shortly after her defeat of the famed ‘Spanish Armada’.
Master of the Hunt- Neit: “You fool,” hisses Neit, drawing inward upon himself, twin arcs of brilliant coldness by his side, his swords. In the ever present brilliance of the cadre he seems but a slip of a shadow, like a splinter in God’s eye. “You dare challenge me, I have walked where you have feared to tread, I have swallowed such light, and been cast from the heavens, banished in chains- you think you can stand between me and my prey. I will crash down the heavens and burn paradise to the ground before giving way to the likes of you.” He pauses then, his eyes narrowing, “You cut your own wings away in despair and rebellion, and still you think you have power over me? Know despair-” And in that instant Neit suddenly grows larger than the night, and in a shape reminiscent of that old beast, that fell dragon, he falls upon the angels assembled before him, crushing out their light, bearing them to the ground.
Shadow Mastiff’s: I finally located Phillip, he was with a man- but before I go there, there is something you must know… the corners of the roof, the corners of the doorways, anything at all that resembled a clear ninety degree angle of any sort; they all began to bleed darkness like a severed artery bleeds blood.And that darkness the corners bled began to pool.Once the pooling darkness on the roof was complete, a howling began. Simple at first, it quickly gained precedence and volume; in fact, it continued to spiral upward in strength, even as the darkness of the pools began to take shape, forms starting to materialize from within that night into long lean hounds with course dark fur, blood red eyes and with mouths full of long sharp teeth. As a pack, their backs and hackles were up; their tails tucked down.
Blair: Off to the north, above the wail of sirens, a large dark cloud separates itself from the ground and quickly approaches, wheeling through the night on a collision course with destiny- a thousand, thousand raven and crow. In one fell swoop they fall upon the stranger, cawing, spinning, merging. When the darkness of their arrival passes, only the stranger remains.Raven and crow are gone.“And you thought Neit and his hounds were bad…”

The Furies…

There were usually said to be three Furies (note: At Athens there were statues of only two), called Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera.  They are often depicted as a large flock of flying creatures, with the three named members leading the avenging pack. The Harpies, who were filthy, monstrous, vulture-like female beasts loathed by humans, often served the Erinnyes in capturing or tormenting those unfortunate people who had displeased them.

Portrayed with and without wings, the Erinnyes in time became better known as those responsible for avenging offenses by children against their mothers, and eventually came to be the divine punishers – along with Zeus – of anyone who committed perjury or patricide (killing of one’s father).

As their influence spread, the Erinnyes became the personification of the concepts of vindictiveness and retribution (also see Nemesis), and represented the psychological torments associated with a guilty conscience. Eventually their influence extended to the hearing of complaints of insolence by the young toward the old; punishing disrespect of parents by their children; as well as lack of hospitality to guests by their hosts, a terrific breach of ancient etiquette.


Common Ravens have been observed to manipulate others into doing work for them, such as by calling wolves and coyotes to the site of dead animals. The canines open the carcass, making it more accessible to the birds. They watch where other Common Ravens bury their food and remember the locations of each others food caches, so they can steal from them. This type of theft occurs so regularly that Common Ravens will fly extra distances from a food source to find better hiding places for food. They have also been observed pretending to make a cache without actually depositing the food, presumably to confuse onlookers.

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