Thursday, May 20, 2010

Roadside Scavenging

My friend Heather is going to laugh when she reads this post. She calls me a magpie because I'm always picking up objects as I walk along. Often something bright and shiny that catches my eye. Or possibly rusted and not so shiny, I'm not particular.

The other day, I was driving to work and as I got within a block of my office, I noticed a sign lying by the side of the road. I parked my car and walked back to pick it up, which turned out to be larger than I had first thought. The woman who rode up in the elevator with me couldn't contain her curiosity, and said, "okay, I have to ask - what is that??" She laughed when I said I'd just picked up by the side of the road, I'm not sure she believed me.

As you can see from the photo of me standing beside it, it's close to 5 feet long. It's a piece of wood painted yellow with the stop sign bolted onto it. It's broken off of something but I don't know where or what, perhaps some sort of barrier. I also don't know what I will use it for, but I'll keep it around for a while to see if I am inspired to do something with it.

Speaking of magpies, did you know they are a member of the crow family? Which probably explains why they are one of the few animal species to be able to recognize themselves in a mirror. The Canadian version is known as the black-billed magpie and is found in the western half of the country only, between the Yukon and Manitoba. Their elaborate domed nests take about 6 weeks to build and they are believed to mate for life. Their tail takes up at least half of their total body length, which can only be said of three other songbirds.

You can read more about them here:

Magpies are described as "opportunistic scavengers" and I guess that is exactly what I am!

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