Love of Money — and Birds

Well, possibly my muse is awakening, but is still not interested in my novel. Instead, it (she?) is currently hard at work on a presentation I am going to give at my church on January 21 on “1,000 Years of English Money.” If you go back a thousand years from Elizabeth II, you come to Canute, who became King of England in 1016. I have long been endeavoring to collect a silver coin from each reign between the two. It’s not complete – I’m missing ten monarchs and the two Cromwells – but I have enough to give a pretty good overview of the coins and the history of the people they represent. And I’m also giving a very generalized history of the start of money, and connecting it to the Christian Sacrament of Baptism. All in forty-five minutes.

Driving home Monday morning from water exercise, I saw two small hawks (maybe peregrines?) sitting side by side on the same light standard, very cute. I was a little surprised, because hawks are territorial, each needing so many acres in order to find enough food to sustain himself. Then I thought, I bet they’re a breeding pair! Awwww, love in the air . . . But in January? Yes, because raptor birds feed their young on the young of other animals, and so need a head start in the laying of eggs, so their young are hatched in time for their parents to gather other animals’ eggs and young. Crows, for example, are also pairing up, seeking nest locations, in order to hatch their babies just in time for their main diet of newborn rabbits. It’s factoids like that that tone down my sentimental feelings about nature. Red in beak and claw indeed.

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