Saturday, October 01, 2005

From the observation deck:

There were many swans on the water. Many more than we'd ever seen in one place. I dug and dug in my brain and tried to remember the name for a group of swans - I came up with a "bugle" of swans. Alexis said it was a "thwack."

"No it's not."

"You haven't been as close to swans as I's definately a 'thwack.'"

When we arrived home, I looked it up immediately - and came across a full listing of bird group names. We all know that it's a murder of crows, right? And a gaggle of geese (on the water), an exaltation of larks, an ostentation of peacocks. Well, it's a whiteness of swans, on the water, and a wedge of swans in the air.

a charm of finches
a kettle of nighthawks
a paddling of ducks
a pitying of turtle doves
a siege of bitterns
an unkindness of ravens

Still on the deck, overlooking the whiteness, I asked Alexis:

"What would a bunch of me be called?"

"An abomination of Shanas."


"That's the worst thing you've ever said."

"Well, that's the dumbest question you've ever asked."


After the laughter died down from this exchange - Alexis offered the option of a "Truce" of Shanas. I thought this was some conciliatory attempt, but she insists it would be so named to inspire the group of Shanas (which would always be fighting) to co-exist peaceably.

My mother offers other possiblities:

A serenity of Shanas
A serendipity of Shanas
A splendor of Shanas
A showboat of Shanas
A shoo-in of Shanas
A shambala of Shanas (I may like this one best – shambala is a mystical kingdom somewhere beyond)
A certainty of Shanas (I like this one too)

I love my mother...