Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rainy Day Blues

What to do on a dreary rainy stormy Seattle fall afternoon?

A photo posted by The Zen Parrot (@the_zen_parrot) on

A photo posted by The Zen Parrot (@the_zen_parrot) on

A photo posted by The Zen Parrot (@the_zen_parrot) on

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Parrots and Pastries

If you sell cannoli at an Italian bakery, then your name should be Milan, just like the Italian city. His is!

Parrots and pastries go together like, well, parrots and pasties. Turns out parrots love pastries as much as people do. And just like people, parrots should enjoy pastries in moderation. But an occasional treat is not a problem for our Hyacinth macaw parrot Princess Tara.

One of our favorite stops at Seattle's year around Sunday Ballard Farmers Market, in historic downtown Old Ballard, is West Seattle's Little Prague European Bakery. We stopped to watch Milan dishing out the delectable pastries to a steady stream of customers.

Of course, we couldn't resist. We had to grab a box of cannoli to die for. And did you know, the singular form of cannoli is cannolo? Yes it is. But rest assured, you can't eat just one!

Bon Appétit

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quoth the Parrot “Nevermore”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

We learned probably as children that there was a raven tapping at Edgar Allan Poe's chamber door. Only this and nothing more. But it might have been a parrot.

Poe originally considered featuring a parrot in his classic poem, because of course, parrots can talk. The parrots that Poe would have known and admired in the early 19th century would have been exotic and colorful macaws brought back by mariners from South America or bright white cockatoos from Australia and the South Pacific. Neither would have been appropriate for the dark and mournful mood Poe wanted to set for the poem.

Our Blue and Gold macaw parrot Aboo, too loud, colorful and boisterous for a dark poem

Goffin's Cockatoo Kid Kadra, too loud, boisterous, and bright; and an outright juvenile delinquent

Not black. Not dark. Not mournful. So Poe decided to feature a raven instead. Black. Mournful. And best of all for Poe, ravens also can talk. As Charles Dickens demonstrated in Barnaby Rudge, a book Poe read and admired. Thus the raven quoth "nevermore".

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Parrot Created God In Her Image

How is it Adam and Eve had a parrot? Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471 - 1528) The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) 1504

Native to North Africa and India, Ringed-neck parrots or parakeets are established in Germany today, but in the Germany of 1504? Not so much. In medieval Europe parrot keeping was exclusively the domain of the nobility.

A renowned artist like Albrecht Dürer, whose patrons included Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, was used to the rarified atmosphere of medieval courts and most likely saw a parrot or two in his courtly rounds. To illustrate the importance Albrecht Dürer must have assigned to parrots, the Fall of Man was the first engraving that Albrecht Dürer actually signed. And his signature is hanging from the same branch the parrot is perched on.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Fab Four. And Their Parrot

The Beatles arrived in Seattle fifty years ago this past week, August 25, 1966, for their second and last appearance in the Emerald City. Which of course got us to thinking about John, Paul, George, and Ringo. And parrots. Because, why not?

And sure enough:

We found John and Paul posing with a parrot. Though Paul didn't seem particularly happy about it.

Ringo, however, was clearly comfortable with the Blue and Gold macaw on his shoulder.

John seemed to have a particular affinity for this Blue and Gold macaw parrot.

We're still searching for a photo of George with a parrot. Don't think this one counts.

Here's George in the vicinity of a parrot. If anybody knows of a photo of George with a parrot, please send us a link and we will happily post it.

Even better, if anyone knows the backstory to the Blue and Gold macaw parrot on set with The Beatles please share!