Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday fun activity: Where IS this?


     Spring showed up, thank merciful God, last evening at 5:45 p.m. CST And while the first flowers are still pushing their green shoots up through the chill dirt, I thought I would share this bountiful crop of colorful beauties, that I spied Thursday during my wanderings around the city.
     "Spring" is an interesting word, occupying more than five densely-packed pages of my Oxford English Dictionary. It began in Old English describing water "rising or issuing from the ground, the source or head, of a well, stream, or river" a meaning it of course still retains. Then naturally it was applied to other things that also spring forth: vegetation, lions,  coiled metal contraptions, a usage more than 500 years old. 
    All that springing plant activity led, in the 14th century, to the season we have now gratefully entered being called "springing time" then, a century later, "spring-time" as well as "spring of the leaf" and finally, just "spring," which by Shakespeare's era was being used frequently to denote the season, plus anything, such a love or life, enjoying its first flowering. 
      Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary downplays the time of year, starting with"1. n. a leap; a bound; a jump; as of an animal" and gives nine other meanings, including "a fountain of water" before getting to "11. The season of the year when plants begin to vegetate and rise."
     There are of course more definitions; the slang usage of getting someone out of jail being among the most recent, dating back only to about 1935.
    But enough etymology—who has time to waste on that with the weather finally becoming a little nicer? Where is the above flowery mural? The winner receives one of my equally stunning, if not as colorful, 2015 blog posters. Please post your guesses below. 

14 comments:

  1. No idea where the mural might be, but enjoyed the spring explication. The words we take for granted are those most interesting to explore.

    John

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  2. The only problem is that early spring here, is just like an extended late winter.

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  3. Oh we can't have enough etymology!

    Am reluctant to cast you as a clown Neil, but Miss Dickinson wrote:

    "A little madness in the Spring,
    Is wholesome even for the King.
    But God be with the Clown,
    Who ponders this tremendous scene --
    This whole Experiment of Green
    As if it were his own."

    Don't know where the mural is, but Emily would approve.

    Tom Evans

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    1. wrong season but I like John Greenleaf Whittier

      "Snowbound"

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  4. Just for fun, I was attempting to emulate King Dale by googling this. To no avail, as always. But I did stumble across this website -- mural locator dot org. It's not there, but it ought to be! http://murallocator.org/tag/chicago/

    Spring in Chicago is such a tease. Yes, it's nice that it's warmer and a couple of these days have been fabulous in that regard. But there's still not much of anything to look at while you're out enjoying the temperature. And many years, especially near the lake, there's seemingly weeks of "temperature 37, windchill 28." April may be the "cruellest month", but late March gives it a run for its money. I know -- I shouldn't complain, especially when our host is being so chipper. But if one can't gripe on a blog whose theme music is the "Song of the Volga Boatmen, where can one? ; )

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  5. It's just a few minutes from Noon & no one has guessed it.
    I won 3 Saturdays ago & I think Neil said there was to be a 4 week limit on repeating, but if no one else guesses correct, I'll give it a try, but what where I think it is may be wrong, but I'll wait until 2PM.

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  6. National Museum of Mexican Art?

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  7. Esperanza Community Services - Grand Avenue

    Dale

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    1. King Dale reasserts his dominance. Let's see, you've won a poster, coffee, and the Chicago book, right? I'm not sure what else to give you—how about an older book?

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    2. Can I request a book? How about "You Were Never in Chicago"? I got the "Complete & Utter Failure" (which I'm still reading, good book).

      Thanks,
      Dale

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  8. You got it. On the way. Congratulations.

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  9. Us surburban subscribers who don't get to the city often, don't have a chance.

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    1. I've had suburban scenes before. I'll make sure to post one soon.

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