Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Birding Antique-Connection

I've always been interested by the idea of finding old or interesting things. When I was a kid, I used to collect coins and try to search for hidden treasures with a metal detector. I once found a metal object from the early 1800's that was worth 800 times its original value. That might have been an impressive find if it was something other than a penny. (The top photo is of a nutcracker that was made by the J & E Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut in 1859).
It occurred to me that there are some similarities between birding and dealing with antiques. Finding a rare bird can be exciting just as finding a rare antique would be. A beginning birder may be excited about a new bird he/she has found only to find out it is just a common ordinary bird.
I've had similar experiences when I've brought something to be appraised and found out that it wasn't worth anything. I found this ashtray that was left behind by the previous owners packed away in my cellar. It wasn't particularly old but the unique squirrels holding the acorn design made it worth a few bucks to one antique dealer I visited.
This past weekend after spending some time birding at Hammonasset, I stopped into an antique/collectible shop called Every Day Treasures located on route 1 in Clinton. If you're ever out that way it's worth having a look inside. There's a lot of interesting items in there that are nicely displayed on two floors.
They had a lot of interesting items in there liked this wooden duck named Tracey.
I think this is some type of copper relief art. I like the way the ducks pop out of the painting.
After my visit to the antiques shop it was time to pick up the binoculars again and get back to the business of birding. Increased numbers of Hooded Mergansers have been showing up in the ponds and rivers around the area this week.
I've been finding Black Vultures gathered in trees behind the Taylor-Palmer preserve field in Portland. I see them there in the morning hours as they're getting ready for take-off. This one looks like it was trying to send a telegraph message to one of his buddies.

I've used up all of my inventory for now but I'll continue to be on the lookout. Whether it be a bird or an antique, you never know when you'll come across something rare or unusual.


Here are some shows I've enjoyed watching this month : American Pickers, Pawn-Stars, and Storage Wars


Chris said...

HI Larry,
I love the comparison of birding and seeking for antiquities. It looks like the same when you think about it as you suggested ;-) Love the bufflehead picture!

Harold Stiver said...

Very interesting series!!

troutbirder said...

Interesting. My connection is birding/photography and flyfishing. Stalking, catching, beautiful surroundings. :)

Larry said...

Chris-Thanks-I enjoy looking for similarities in different things.


Troutbirder-Sounds good-I don't fish as much as I used to but plan on getting back into it this year.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Hunting for anything is good fun! Happy Spring, Larry!

Andy said...

The wooden and copper ducks are interesting looking.

Big bucks?

Ruth said...

My grandfather owned an art and antique shop. I would rather have something old and interesting than something new for the house.
Great picture of the Hooded Merganser, a bird I seldom see.

Larry said...

Warren and Lisa-thanks and same to you!

Andy-I wasn't looking at prices while I was there but I think you can see the sticker on the copper one if you enlarge the photo. Often things are negotiable at an antique store.

Ruth-I'm stating to think that way myself-even buying antiques as gifts.-Thanks

Kathie Brown said...

Nice analogy Larry! I would agree with you! Love the meganser photo.

Dawn Fine said...

I love finding things..Nice antique finds there.
Happy Birding and Happy Antiquing!

Lana Gramlich said...

Too ironic! Years ago (when my mom used my brother & I as free, child labor,) I used to sell those copper pictures. That brings back memories! (Not ALL bad.)
Sorry for my recent absence. Spring's the busiest time of year for my visual arts business & I've been taking full advantage.

Larry said...

Lana-Sounds like an interesting experience that probably came in handy later in life. No need to explain-if that were the case I'd have to apologize all the time.