Bruce and I

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

I found Bruce at an auction. At first I intended to give him to a friend of mine, but after purchasing, I liked him so well I decided to keep him.

Sometimes sculptures such as this are called “Green Man”. Or maybe he’s a gargoyle. Or he could just be a door knocker.

I hadn’t heard of Greenmen so I had to look that up. There are a lot of different looking versions of green man characters and multiple descriptions of what each means:

“The Leaf Man or Green Man of ancient pagan, druidic, and neo-pagan belief is a nature spirit of woodland places, plants, trees, & foliage. He represents fertility, springtime, and renewal and roams the woodlands of Europe in legend. Also called Green Jack, Jack-in-the-Green and Green George he is depicted as a face peering through leaves, usually Oak, which was sacred to druids, and a crown of leaves as a symbol of divinity.

I choose to think Bruce really is a spirit of woodland places and that he really does represent fertility and springtime.

At first I put him on the front wall of our well house so he could look across the yard and toward our house. That was OK, but eventually I moved him onto a tree. Now he can look down toward the chickens and a field. More tree’s and yard. Even a creek (in the winter when he can see through the trees).

He honestly looks much happier.

But DANG! He’s gotta be cold with that cast iron knocker in his cheeks.

Let the benevolent Leaf Man nature spirit greet guests to your home or garden with a mystical, architectural touch, and bring you good luck and prosperity!

Got a nature spirit?

PJ’s Sprite

69 thoughts on “Bruce and I”

  1. One must ask, “why Bruce?”

    Need to chew on the actual question a bit. My time spent out in nature has been sadly diminished in recent years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning all! I have actually thought about this. I’ve always admired bears and when I was a teenage, my father gave me a key ring with a bear claw etching, which I still use every day. So my first answer would be that I have a bear spirit.

    But I also have a t-shirt that says “My patronus is a bookworm”.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Nice, Ben. Pan is what first comes to mind – Greek, according to Wiki “the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs”. And Freya, closer to my roots, covers a lot of ground “goddess of fertility, gold, death, love, beauty, war and magic”.

    A look on that Wikipedia page for “List of Nature Deities” show the scope of this topic. EVERY culture has something.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Is this supposed to be a serious song? Because I couldn’t stop giggling while I listened to it.


        2. It’s faux folkloric intended to be taken as serious. As far as I’m concerned, it falls into that category of songs like the imitation native american ones that appropriate or seek to emulate the songwriter’s notion of a genuine folk or indigenous song would sound like. They are, in my opinion, invariably embarrassing.


  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have experience some profound experiences with owls that I kind of consider my “totem” animal.

    Meanwhile the Bing picture today is downright adorable. Yesterday was beautiful. Today is adorable. I love these Bing pictures and the daily quiz.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The traditional North German homes in the village my maternal granfather grew up in all have crossed horses’ heads on the gables, which are Saxon symbols. Perhaps I need to get a horse!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now I find that the heads also can symbolize Hengist and Horsa, two quasi historical brothers who led the Jutes and Saxons to invade southern England in the 4th century.


    1. One of the places I do gardening work has a little statue in the garden that is the hindquarters of a Scottish terrier. I guess it is supposed to appear that the dog has been energetically digging a hole, and it has its front paws and head in the hole. However, there is no actual hole, so if you walk past it, it appears that the dog was digging a hole and there was a tragic cave-in and it suffocated there with its hindquarters thrust upward.

      Who invented that piece of statuary. and what were they thinking?

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I have a turtle and a pig. I was once told that every garden should have a turtle, and the turtle should face west. I think it is a feng shui thing.

    I don’t know what the pig represents, but he has a pleasant countenance and seems a benevolent spirit. I don’t remember where I got him, but I know I didn’t go out and buy him. It seems to me I rescued him from a heap of discards somewhere. He faces west, sitting on top of the garden shed.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. I’ve always remembered the Northern Exposure episode where Maggie meets a man named Arthur. At the end, she makes eye contact with a bear. Arthur means bear.

    Bruce means “Thick Brush”, but also ‘Robert, the Bruce’, who learned perseverance from watching a spider spin a web.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Do I have a nature spirit? Do I ever! In fact, I have several. The most powerful one is a tree sprite. I know this because the artist who created her told me that all of the small clay beads that adorn the bottom of her black-snake-covered brown dress are indicative of her powers. The more beads, the more power, and this one has a lot of beads. She has a bushy mane of white rabbit fur, her gnarly hands have four fingers, and her feet are delicately wrapped in straps of leather. She carries a a long stick, also adorned with small clay beads.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. The only way to get an image in a comment is if it is online and you can copy in as a .url. WordPress intentionally won’t allow images to be added to Comments because lots of folks adding lots of large file photos could easily take WordPress down!

          Liked by 2 people

  10. I worked for a dance company named “Terpsichore”. Terpsichore is the muse of dance and chorus.

    From wiki: she is “one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus. She lends her name to the word “terpsichorean” which means “of or relating to dance”. She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the ballerinas’ choirs with her music. Her name comes from the Greek words τέρπω (“delight”) and χoρός (“dance”). She is also a Mother of the sirens and Parthenope.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. We saw the movie ‘Coco’ a few weeks ago. A very nice movie that involved a young boy, Hector, celebrating Día de Muertos (Day of the dead) by going to the land of the dead and finding, among other things, spirit guides.
    Not knowing anything about that holiday, I’d be interested in hearing how well the film makers did sticking to the heart of the celebration.


  12. i have a frank lloyd wright garden sprite that has moved with me and created good vibes out in the garden for about 10 years
    i love her and she now oversees the front yard garden.
    she was originally designed to be a newell or baulister for a stair rail. i would love to have her and 30 or 40 other sprites looking out over my garden to see the outdoor spirits at their finest.
    thanks ben.
    your writing classes are turning you into a guy who can write good. bring it on.
    i have seen many faces similar to bruce with water coming out of the mouth in a wall hanging fountain. a nice piece of art to plug int the setting

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have a garden nisse, although he is more or less stationary out front. I did make him a little house several years ago, but whenever I see him, he is standing outside it, enjoying the view.

      Liked by 5 people

  13. Many Baboons know that I’m a Democrat so I have enjoyed the infighting between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. Most of you are likely aware of the tell-all book about the White House. I wrote this as my take on the troubles.
    To the tune of Hang On, Sloopy.
    “Sloppy lives in bad Washington
    And everybody, yeah, tries to put my Sloppy down
    Sloppy, I don’t care what Trumpy do
    ‘Cause you know, Sloppy, boy, you told the truth
    And so please sing out

    Hang around, Sloppy
    Sloppy, hang ’round
    Hang Trump, Sloppy
    Sloppy, hang Don.

    Sloppy, let your hair down, boy
    Write a tell-all for me (Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
    Sloppy, let The Hair down, boy
    Let it all out to see, yeah, yeah (Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

    Come on, Sloppy (Tell on The Don)
    Well, come on, Sloppy (Reveal the con)
    Well, come on, Sloppy (Don’t be a pawn)
    Well, come on, Sloppy (Call Amazon)
    Well, it feels so good (Pains FOX’s Sean)
    You know, it feels so good (You’re Satan’s spawn)
    Well, fake it, make it, mud-rake it, Sloppy (Come on, come on)
    Well, fake it, make it, mud-rake it, yeah (Come on, come on)
    Hang around Sloppy
    Sloppy hang ’round.
    Hang Trump, Sloppy
    Sloppy hang Don”.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yesterday I saw what is apparently an ongoing parody of DT on Twitter set to the tune of “Modern Major General” from HMS Pinafore. Some of the verses were quite good. Of course, now that I was searching for it, I couldn’t find it, but discovered other similar parodies that have been going on for a while. Warning! Potential for a major waste of time, unless, of course, you don’t consider enjoying some of the more creative responses to our current predicament a waste of time.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ah, here it is via our own Ben, and Via Herrick Goldman, Via twitter:

      I am the very model of a Very Stable Genius.
      I have a mighty button and no problems with my penius.
      I have no time for television, golf, or social media
      Since my brain is way way better than the best encyclopedia.

      I like to tweet the lies of racist grievances historical
      When Russian ties are mentioned I deny them categorical
      I do not feel the sting of words because I am avenious
      I am the very model of a Very Stable Genius!

      I have the words, the only words, no one has better words than me
      If I’m unsure, I check Fox News, it’s propaganda’s comforting
      When I am caught plan in a lie, I pass the buck entirely
      Think I am wrong? Well, covfefe, and look at Crooked Hillary

      Compared to other leaders, my behavior’s quite unusual
      My twisted tweets and pissed-on sheets have managed to amuse you all
      I have to drink two-handed ‘cause my fingers are the teeniest
      I need a sippy-cup with the inscription “Stable Genius.”

      I am the very model of a man who is, like, very smart…..
      Many people see my brain and say it’s like a work of art…..
      My daddy, he did nuclear; he truly knew things myriad…..
      And when I type ellipsis I use far too many periods…..

      I am the very model of a stable genius president
      Improvident, incompetent, and wildly overconfident
      I’m getting rich destroying the American experiment
      Beholden like a puppet to a hostile foreign government

      I throw the finest tantrums; I’m repetitive and furious
      When CNN airs anything too screwy to be spurious,
      My crooked doctor tells me I’m a paragon of sanity,
      And if you don’t believe him, you can always ask @SeanHannity…

      The scholars and historians will wrack their brains to fathom all
      The ways to fact and knowledge I’m offensive and anathemal;
      Believe me, I will lead you to a “new age of prosperity”—
      And leave no page unburnt to be disproven by posterity…

      My speeches are the best: I am the best at slurred meandering
      Between extremes of bullying and sychophantic pandering:
      If you’re not counting Nero and forget who Mussolini is,
      I never had an equal as a bigly #stablegenius!

      I’m very good at building walls and keeping out the Mexicans
      We don’t want hordes of chilli-eating, poncho-wearing denizens
      In short in matters international, nuclear and penius
      I am the very model of a Very Stable Genius.

      I can’t believe I’m President; I only sought publicity
      Now people think I’m Putin’s stooge, accuse me of complicity
      My family’s a laughing stock of ridicule and pillory
      I bet this whole disaster was set up by Crooked Hillary

      Though some may claim I dabble in cerebral mediocrity,
      I speak to all the rabble of my burgeoning democracy,
      And rebrand all the planets in my name let’s start with Venius
      For I am the very model of a modern stable genius.

      Liked by 4 people

  14. I wish I had a nisse at the house – perhaps we do. Nisse are helpful little beings…unless you make them mad. A happy nisse, that would be good – someone to help about the homestead and keep the critters happy (on that latter part, based on what i can observe, it’s quite possible there is a nisse here somewhere).

    As for my spirit animal…well, I strongly suspect that may be a basset hound. Short legged, sturdily built, strong willed, a bit lazy (or at least really enjoys a good afternoon nap), loyal almost to a fault. I can hope that I am not as jowly, damp, or long eared…but we’ll see what the next decade or so brings. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Just off Bruce’s left peripheral vision this morning, he missed a hawk attack one of my ducks in their pond. Never seen that before.
    The male red-tailed hawk got a little wet and I wonder if it couldn’t fly. When I walked down to spread corn for the ducks, the hawk was right there looking at me.
    Humphrey, the dog, went right up to it. He’s lucky it didn’t rip his nose open and it was only after several ‘sniffs’ did the hawk finally charge him a bit.
    I wonder if this was only possible because there is a bit of an ‘ice-shelf’ in the pond due to the cold? No way the hawk could have carried the duck away.
    I’ve always liked hawks… I guess this is a circle of life thing. Still feel bad about the duck though…
    A hawk has never tried to attack the other ducks when sitting on land.
    Steve? What do you know about hawk behavior?
    I need a duck protector spirit!


    1. I hesitate. to “like” that, Ben, but I’m sure you’re right that it’s a circle of thing. So what did the hawk do? Feast on the duck right there, since it couldn’t carry it away?


      1. Usually there’s 5-7 ducks in the pond for a few hours in the morning. The rest of the day they’re over by the shed with the rest of the ducks. With the cold and the ice on the sides, the open water is narrow. Meaning 12″ – 24″.
        I would guess he picked one to land on and the rest could get away.

        Thanks for the input Steve. The hawk was spreading his wings: to protect his food? To look bigger to Humphrey?
        He did eat right there.


  16. Hi Ben. I’m not an expert on hawks, but I can make some guesses.

    Two possible reasons the hawk didn’t fly. Your guess–the bird was wet–is likely. That hawk is not adapted for taking food on or in water. But the hawk might have been protecting its kill. A hawk will “mantle” over a kill, keeping it away from other predators.

    Hawks don’t usually feed on waterfowl on ponds. It seems likely the ducks were trapped on the pond by ice. Hawks and eagles observe ducks, looking for those that have taken a few pellets from hunters. Such birds might be able to live in spite of being shot, but they won’t always be able to avoid predators like a healthy bird. In other words, healthy ducks escape hawks and eagles, but waterfowl in trouble might not.

    Liked by 1 person

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