Finish Line II

I said I would finish my thoughts about pens. A felt pen doesn’t work as well for me as a dip pen and India ink, but I do not mean to generalize. In the hand of many talented cartoonists, a felt pen can render wonders. I think of the best felt-pen art as loose, with bold lines, interesting textures and rich shading, marvelous to behold. However, having come of age in the prime of Peanuts and Beetle Baily and Hi & Lois and BC, I guess I’m more of a line guy. I think my educational background as a reporter and editor played a part, too. When I started, many years ago, I thought of the drawing as a necessary evil, a means to a greater end. This was a mistake on my part, but I have learned and developed. I’m proud of that, but it’s all moot anyway. Young cartoonists starting out today draw with a digital tablet!
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140 responses to “Finish Line II”

  1. Oh no! Thank you anonymous about the Mustang. That is same listing error that made me go down to my local dealer thinking it was a convertible but it was actually a coupe. This is getting frustrsting!

  2. My bra rubbing is not only thing hurting today after going to gym last night and then leg lifts after I got home. I am so out of shape! Shame on me!

  3. TIP BlogSpot:

    Cranach is too early for later more realistic portraiture. A good portrait of Streep would be something else. But the picture is also a grim reminder of what we do to ourselves to be fashionable, or socially acceptable. Consider, during the last couple of decades, a group portrait of a president or a governor and his top male officials, all civilians. Buncha penguins. And we still often speak of the military as our ‘uniformed services.’

    And women, more or less voluntarily, in stiletto heels.


  4. Some older cartoonists use digital tablets – Brooke McEldowney (9 Chickweed Lane, Pibgorn) has used one for years. Conversely the fairly young Nina Paley (Nina’s Adventures, Fluff, The Hots), after years of doing digital animation (Sita Sings the Blues, Seder Masochism), recently picked up pens again and has enthusiastically embraced analog drawing.

  5. The large dealer in Tulsa I contacted last night about the convertible that was a coupe has done a locate for me and found a 2016 black on black on black with same equipment. I have appointment for 5 p.m. tomorrow with them.

    Didn’t some movie cowboy ride a horse called Diablo?

    You know Ghost that Oklahoma has a professional basketball team named the Thunder?

  6. Jimmy, cuddly winter picnics in front of the fireplace can’t be beat. I like to char hotdogs over the fire, make potato salad, spread out the picnic quilt, and pop open the Asti Spumante. (Never have figured out what wine goes with hotdogs. Anyone have any ideas?) Arlo’s is much more romantic-looking than mine.

    Jackie, headscarves are coming back! Pair them with oversize sunglasses and you’re good to go. With your love of accessorizing, you’d be perfect for it.

  7. Just read the funniest post from one of my acquaintances who used to do a nature show live with a red tailed hawk. He said she thought he was her mother and walked behind him like a Chicken, would poop on anyone who got too close to him.

    On a spectacularly doomed vacation trip my late husband killed a red tailed hawk who flew into windshield. I got a little hysterical, crying and begging him to turn back and abort trip. Nat I’ve people consider this a horrible event, a bad portent.

    It was and it was. I love red tails.

  8. If they did they would not fit. I require a 42DDD or 42FFF, at best a 40DDD.

    Victoria’s Angel’s are petite sprites. I am working on it. I can do this, I have before.

    Going to gym in a little while.

  9. I was just wondering why Arlo seemed so interested and pleased by the reveal. I’ve never seen a sports bra I would consider to be “lingerie”. But then, I lead a rather cloistered life, so who knows what I’ve been missing.

  10. Yes, there are some advertising like that. They seem designed for very young, firm, small, pubescent women who aren’t doing much floppy exercise to begin with.

  11. “Fashion statement”, in other words?

    That may possibly also explain why I’ve seen some females that appear to me to have never been within six city blocks of a yoga class wearing yoga pants.

  12. Two obits in one day. Church custodian’s wife, cancer, she was in hospice. Also beloved education prof emeritus, Parkinson’s [funeral this Sunday afternoon at FLC; I expect a crowd.] Appropriate overcast day.


  13. Jimmy, your last line contains the word “moot” which has as of just yesterday been a point of discussion with my husband and I. We use it as you did, to indicate there is no use in “discussing” it because it is no longer an issue. But I looked it up and the dictionary defines it in exactly the opposite way, “open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful:” (I don’t see how doubtful fits in with the rest of this definition) So my husband and I are discussing and debating the societal meaning of the word moot.

  14. Who Steve?

    Thank you Mark.

    Ghost, I have a 42DD sports bra that advertised for that but is laces and sheer fabric that pokies definitely show through and tee shirt. That is why tee shirt bras sell, women denying you pokies with “light padding”.

    Oh, I am wearing some yoga pants that looked a lot better before I regained weight. I wear them to remind myself of that. And for some reason a brand new Airforce Hoodia that I seem to have bought mysteriously, which is OK. Going to gym. That bra is on me.

  15. emb, I’m so sorry for your losses today. They must both have been people who touched many lives, and the world will be poorer for their passing.

    Ginger, I think the roots of “moot” come from meetings which were held to discuss or review things. Maybe from Germanic or Anglo-Saxon?

    Mary Tyler Moore. Heaven’s going to be a little brighter from now on.

  16. Smigz:

    ’emb, I’m so sorry for your losses today. They must both have been people who touched many lives, and the world will be poorer for their passing.’

    I’ve known the Austads since they first came to BSU, and, yes, Chuck and Ann have been a blessing to BSU and the community. While Chuck was still up to it, saw them often when working out at Peak Performance. [Not its official name anymore, but there is the First Amendment.] FLC’s Assoc. pastor is doing the funeral; she and her husband are among those who have adopted me, and she is one fine preacher.

    Dave has been our custodian for just a few yr. Works part time for BUMC and FLC, and is about as obliging and diligent as we could ask. Delightful guy, and some of you would appreciate what he’s done w/ his Mustang and another car. Never met his wife; believe she was already cancer-ridden when Dave came on board. Such a pleasant guy must have had a neat wife.

    Somebody yesterday posted some laudatory comments re me. To the extent that they are valid, Elaine deserves lots of the credit, maybe most.



  17. Thank you, folk, for the comments. Don’t have a lot of time and /energy but I lurk when I can. Job is still challenging, and, most of the time, fun. Unfortunately today was not one of the fun days! But the main reason I am not here very often. . It is so darn hard to write on my phone! I am beginning to think that I will never get back Internet service.
    But be assured that I still love my A&J buddies !

  18. Ghost:

    (This is in reference to your post about the range of Bubba in the previous thread.)

    I thought that that was most likely it, but I wasn’t sure.

    By the way, I should mention that I have found a fair share of Bubbas in many states.

    Of course, to be fair, I have also found a fair share of elitist snobs, some of them in my own family.

    It all balances out, I guess.

    Sometimes, I wonder in what category I fit, but I don’t ponder it too long because I long ago passed the point of even caring a jot about that.

  19. This week has not gone well. Today’s mess was my fault, but believe me, if I would have known moving a rack would have busted my store’s water main, I would have left it alone.

    Also, I have the “See your memories” option on on Facebook. Most if the time, it is good for a laugh. Today marks the third anniversary of mother’s admittance to ICU with the pneumonia that killed her. I always strongly consider turning the notices off until after February 3rd. What stays my hand is reading the happier memories on those days – there is no joy without sorrow.

  20. Lady Mindy: I’m sure there is one of your inimitable stories behind how moving a rack ruptured a water main, but I don’t have the heart to ask for details.

    Rick: Bubbas are all over; they’re just called different things in different places. Most of them get an undeserved bad rap, and mostly from those elitist snobs you mentioned, come to think of it.

    Along those lines, one of the nephews of my deceased friend with whom I had dinner last evening has a PhD in behavioral psychology; his daughter is an RN in the Recovery Unit of the state’s largest medical center; one son recently passed the bar exam on his first attempt and is a working attorney; and his younger son scored a 35 on his ACT test and will be valedictorian of his class this year. And yet, I’m sure there are many of those elitist snobs who, knowing nothing about them other than where they live, would automatically consider them “fly-over country rednecks”.

    Myself, I’m a live and let-live kind of guy, whenever possible.

  21. 1) Ginger, “moot” has more than one sense. Here’s the one Jimmy was using: “of little or no practical value, meaning, or relevance; purely academic.” This describes a matter about which one might argue, but argument is pointless (due, e.g., to some deadline having already passed).

    2) Remember when Brandi Chastain celebrated winning the 1999 Women’s World Cup for the US by pulling off her jersey, revealing her sports bra? There was a Tank McNamera cartoon about it:

  22. I miss Jeff Millar who wrote all the story, dialogue for Tank . I was a fan long before the strip began. He has died of cancer. Jeff loved cats too.

    Jeff had a great sense of humor.

  23. My lace and lycra sports bra held up just fine for gym. I don’t think you are supposed to wear this one outside clothes, it is pink.

    Building back up to 30 minutes each at mid intensity rate on three machines. Made it to that on one but not on other two yet. Just part way.

    Ghost, I am going in to Tulsa tomorrow to talk to dealer and try to get a deal worked up on Mustang. I will consider after market bling tonight some. Open to suggestions.

    Still thinking of pony names. Tornado would work up here.

  24. Condolences emb. Also I respected Mary Tyler Moore for her ability to fight her personal battles and still have a wonderful personality and ability to work on worthwhile causes.

  25. GR6: Since Villagers are basically friends, and it’s better to have a friend tell you something is unbuttoned than have a laughing stranger do it, ‘gilding the lily’ is a mish-mash. The notion is that it is pointless to ‘paint the lily, or gild refined gold.’ Shakespeare, King John, Act 4, Scene 2.

    My favorite BSU English TA taught me that one, actually long before she filled that role so well, back when the kids were young, or maybe even before we were married. BTW, I’ve no other acquaintance with that particular Shakespeare play, nor with most of his others. Henry V, Hamlet, Macbeth, Tempest, little else. High school, and team-taught freshman Honors course, where Mike Field was the Shakespeare expert.


  26. Jackie:
    (I) don’t think adding anything to that pic you posted would be an improvement.
    Was looking at wheels – but even they are just right – IMHO.
    Well maybe a satellite dish so you were NEVER out of contact with the Village.
    Diablo was The Cisco Kid’s horse. (“Oh! Poncho”)
    With hot dogs: Ripple wine.

  27. Ghost, even chrome wheel lips?

    You are probably right. It isn’t a pimp mobile. Just a granny pony.

    I warned the young salesman he was dealing with a much older woman, not to be shocked when he met me. He answered I hope truthfully that I did not talk or sound like a senior citizen. He was shocked I would say.

    We used to paint and gild anything that could be pried off a Lincoln, door latches, bumpers, windshield washers, lock frames. Gold. Gold. Gold in those hills and valleys of chrome.

    Thanks for honesty. I like that.

    Wait until that poor salesman sees me in person! Which person will I be?

  28. These are some of horse names that have made it to final cut.

    Black Jack, Thunder, Diablo, Tornado, Beauty,

    Any others?

    Have read a great deal about old Cowboys and their horses.

  29. True, emb, which I learned from my English professor in either Critical Analysis or Creative Writing (he taught both courses) more years ago than I care to remember.

    “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”

    Still, I believe “gild the lily” has perhaps become a more common and quickly recognized idiom than “paint the lily”.

  30. Jackie, I’d suggest your femme fatale persona. He won’t know what hit him.

    For the Mustang name, I was actually going to suggest “Black Jack”, if you didn’t mind the double name. And of course there were two famous Black Jacks, the Western movie horse formerly-known-as-Thunder, and the “riderless horse” that followed the caisson carrying JFK’s casket to Arlington.

  31. That is a really common joke, especially among those in the wine industry and food service. I would include Ghost in that niche market group.

    Have been wracking my brain on answers I have heard, some serious. When we used to sell Mateus Rose I think that was a serious answer, the picnic wine.

    Think some fruity and spicey white German wines were also serious answers. Of course if it was a chili dog, I have no idea.

    Going to bed or at least lay down.

  32. Black Jack is my favorite.

    Never owned a vanity plate. I am entitled to a handicapped plate, never had. Thinking of getting vanity plate.

    Hard to be a feme fatale at my height. Oh wait, I will just wear some knee high boots and leggings, sweater, coat. It is going to be colder tomorrow.

    Granny in Leopard leggings. Nah! But leggings.

  33. I’m glad to see that emb is still with us. I kind of have an idea where Debbe is, but I haven’t seen Mindy from Indy recently. Keep in mind that I now read about 10% of the posts these days.

  34. Debbe is fine as she can be, given being out of work at her father’s house. I talk to her every few days on phone.

    Mindy from Indy is with us. She stopped in today. She is on Facebook too. She has had much illness in family and friends and horrible working conditions.

    Glad you are with us Jerry. How are YOU doing?

  35. You just need an audience who has never heard them,, Ghost. That way it’s all new and details can be altered to alternative facts.. Of course it helps if audience is experienced in ooohing and aaaahhing in admiration and appropriate amazement.

    My vehicle registration ladies follow me on Facebook and live vicariously through my adventures. They are quite upset by Trigger but I think they will like Black Jack.

  36. For those interested;
    This is what a steam locomotive boiler looks like
    before it is rolled and then before it is riveted together.
    The WW&F will be riveting to show how it used to be done.
    Included is a summery of the “21 Campaign” for 2016
    Keep following on fb – the guys like to know their work is appreciated.
    Photos go back over 7 years for those really interested.

  37. Ghost:

    I fully agree.

    I have seen those attitudes in action.

    If you want to read a short, interesting book on the subject, consider reading “Snobbery: The American Version” by Joseph Epstein.

    It’s masterfully written.

  38. I seem to recall reading a few years ago that hippos are responsible for more human deaths in Africa than any other wild animal. By trampling, if you are wondering.

    I’m going to try to make that my last reference to death or dying for awhile.

  39. [Critical Analysis or Creative Writing gild make some money from the Trump bubble details can be altered to alternative facts thanks ] = reminders /overnight posts.

    Critical Analysis or Creative Writing: Interesting. At Cornell, took only Freshman English, got Bs both semesters. Was scared of essay tests, for fear that they might not be graded ‘objectively’, but did well on them. Likewise did well on term papers. At U Mich, as grad student in zoology, did much better than I expected on 12 hr. [2 days] qualifying ‘blue book’ exams. So-so doctoral thesis, but my adviser [good writer and editor himself: Jour. Mamm. ed., author of Peterson FG to Mammals, & Mammals of Michigan] told me I should write lay-level mamm. bks. In USAF, was asked to write ‘play’ for off-duty AFRES groups to illustrate various particulars re retention, promotion, longevity, retirement. Hack work, and I had nothing to do w/ the acting, but heard it went well. Some place in my 20s, finally dawned on me: ‘Self, you write and teach well and like doing it.’ Wrote one book, a few articles, letters to ed., etc. Also married an eventual English major As mentioned earlier, taught an expository writing course / biology majors + a few other interested students, always w/ Strunk & White, ‘The elements of style’, as one of 2 texts. Present avocations = contribute monthly essays to The Bemidji Pioneer, copy-editing for BUMC, and teaching when I can. Am doing a sermon in late Feb. / my favorite Apostle [guess].

    Yes, ‘gild the lily’ is now common usage. I say ‘paint’ just to wake people up, then explain.

    ‘make some money from the Trump bubble’ and ‘alternative facts’ [coined, I believe, by a Trump aide] are things I now shy away from, given current circumstances. Grateful that two of you brought them up, and that two others wrote that you are glad I’m still here. At 87, so am I.


  40. emb you are one of the remarkable octogenarian who have clearly retained your memory and mind clearly functional. You are blessed for that is unfortunately not the norm.

    While I often do not always completely agree with you I am also glad you are still with us. One does not have to March in lock step to be friends.

    Love and peace.

  41. I love the written word. A retirement goal is to attend some writer’s workshops, just for personal enrichment. I don’t plan on any kind of writing career, but one never knows…

    Many of us are probably at are or nearing the point where we are glad to be anywhere. 🙂

  42. Rick I really like the Ecoboost engines and that is what I asked for. I will see what they found.

    They said there were few black Mustang convertibles to be had but they found one or two.

    Woke up with sore throat beginning. May sleep a little more.

  43. Ghost did you just mention the word “retire”?


    You of course know Mississippi lays claim to many of America’s most amazing fiction writers. Something in the water.

    Why is it that I love men who love the written word? Always have, always will.

    And articulate it well. I write words that seem to come at times from a second person, just appearing like a Ouaji board guided by my finger tips.

  44. Jackie, Old Bear, and Ghost, Mateus Rose, Ripple wine, and Mad Dog would make for quite a picnic!

    Jerry, keyboard art makes me think of the typing exercises in high school that resulted in a picture of a Christmas tree.

    Jackie, wasn’t Debbe’s Dad going to have a medical procedure? Did she say if that has happened yet?

  45. Yes, he is back home and fine as far as I can tell. Prostate pressing on erethra I believe. He is simply very old and problem is if he goes into a home he must pay from his own assets. Medicare won’t pay unless it is for rehab and they liquidate assets to pay for costs.

    So it means trying to allow them to live at home which requires someone stay with them.

  46. Jackie, I checked out what the State of Oklahoma offers for personalized tags and discovered there is a choice of about five background colors. The alphanumerics, like Henry Ford’s Model T, can be any color you wish, as long as it is black. So black on white would work, I think.

    Alphanumeric characters are limited to seven. A “space” and a “-” are considered characters, with no other punctuation allowed. You get to make four choices, in order of preference, in case some are already in use. (Perhaps Glen could check that for you before you apply.) These came off the top of my head.


    (I didn’t us JAK in any of them because it seemed to me that might be confused with JAKE.) Perhaps this can be a village contest.

  47. Jackie,

    Not a cowboy horse and probably not a good name for a car but my favorite horse was Seabiscuit. He was small but tough. Citation was another good one. I remember listening to him win the Triple Crown on the radio,1948, in the pre-television days. Whirlaway was a close second.

    God bless us every one. God bless the USA.

  48. When I was pitching suggestions for a name, Jackie said she would rather not use one with the word black in it. So take that into consideration as you ponder.

  49. I suggested Night Rider before realizing that had been a TV show about a car. Then I had to explain it to Jackie because she didn’t watch TV. (I didn’t watch that show either, but did know what it was.)

  50. It this day and age, I’m not sure if I would want to personalize my plates. Mine are my Ham Radio call sign and if someone was road raging against me, they could try to look me up. Of course I’ve moved since I renewed my license, but if you had an easy to remember plate, someone might know that it is your car and possibly do harm to it.

    Am I overthinking this and being a bit too cynical?

  51. I am not opposed to the word black unless it would offend others. Not afraid of annoying white supremacist but rather people of color. I had considered the limited letters and that I would have to shorten.

    Mark it was use of Black alone as a name, not in combination.

    Tony my workman plays Blackjack professionally and he counts cards. He loves name.

    So do I. I own a Seabiscuit already. It is 26 feet long in my back yard.

  52. Just looked at Ghosts list. The first one is one I had decided on to use, my name in full and Blk.

    My father was Jack, his name, not nickname. My grandson is Jack. I am specifying it go to him if I die or become unable to drive.

    My great grandfather was known as Jack but not real name. My great uncle was Jack for whom my dad was named.

    Before I married I was known as Jack or Jacque often, not Jackie. I did not shorten it. My friends did.

  53. It is reason I never did personal plates, especially the one fellow emoyees advocated “MONEY” and “MONIES”.

    I was a heck of a salesman. My nickname was JACKIE MONEY.

    I replied I had already been kidnapped once. However I am not sure Blackjack.would encourage that.

  54. There are some valid arguments against auto tags that are too distinctive. In Jackie’s case, though, both she and a black on black on black Mustang convertible are probably already about as distinctive as they could get. 🙂

    On a more serious note, something that drives me out of my mind are the stick-figure decals on the rear windows of SUVs and minivans that are labeled with the names of dad, mom, and each of the kiddies. It’s like a shopping list for pedophiles. What are they thinking?

  55. They are not thinking of course.

    You know I am doing well mentally when I come out of camouflage and make myself very visible.

    Of course I am expecting to learn to shoot my own gun or at least pepper spray a bear.

    On way to Tulsa. My doctor highly approved of car choice. He likes me.

  56. Here is song from Debbe for Ghost. She sang this song over and over all during your friends service. A Cappella

    My Sweet Lord. Youtube is not letting me post.

    Mark or someone else could you please?

  57. ‘Am I overthinking this and being a bit too cynical?’ Can one be these days?

    One can have a bit assertive / distinctive plates w/o revealing ID. MNDOT has a ‘chickadee’ checkoff [1]. For a slight extra fee, your plate has a picture of a loon, woof, or other wild critter, and the $$ goes to MDNR for things I’m willing to trust that gubmint agency to do. Mine has a chickadee, Poecile atricapillus. [2, 3]. # on plate is run-of-mill, and I don’t remember it. Should enter in my datebk [4]. Makes it easier to find my car among the eggshell Priuses, which are not rare.

    I’d post a YouTube thing here, but would be in trouble. Contains ‘alternate facts’.


  58. Jackie:

    Personalized license plates I have had:


    DRUMCAR (my son used my car to carry his kit from gig to gig)

    For a Vibe that I still have but no longer have this plate: OSCILL8

    3BOBCAT (because Mrs. Rick, our son, and I went to OU)

    And I have one now for my Camaro. I’ll keep that one a secret until I retire the plate.

  59. Sent you a post that disappeared. I ended up buying an even hotter 2017 black stang out of Wichita, KS. The first 2016 that we went over and agreed on got sold today! So, we found a second one in Alabama.

    Got better equipped 3017 for not much more . Sorry Ghost.

    Black on black on black. 2017

  60. I will have to look at my paperwork when I get home. I signed off on everything tonight including transport. That is dealer and they had one convertible.

    Sitting outside Walmart with a Diet Coke and only 15 miles from home.

    I made my shrink laugh a lot. He thinks I am funny woman with a lot of character. He says he totally believes my specialists would keep me as a patient for the entertainment value. He also wants me to write a book. Veeery intereeesting.

    He totally says I should have bought the Mustang instead of boats.

  61. Sorry Ghost I opted for automatic. I love six speed manual but there are days when I can barely stand pain of driving an automatic because joints hurt too badly.

    I got rid of my last manual for that reason. I love clutching and shifting but it is rather like sailing. I have to assume I will be the one driving and not someone driving me. I have to buy something I know I can drive.

    Druther had the manual but druthers don’t count for much sometimes.

  62. Jackie, the reason I asked is the side window sticker of the one I linked to shows it has a 6-speed manual. But the VIN you posted does not match what’s on that sticker, so yours is a different vehicle, obviously. It’s probably pretty similar otherwise.

    So, yay you!

  63. I knew you’d probably have to get one with a 6-speed auto. I also know you’re no wimp.

    Bullet’s 6-speed auto can be shifted manually, I suppose for off-road travel and towing. But I don’t plan on doing either with it.

  64. Nor do I with Blackjack. This is my escape pod. My Time Machine.

    Do you know where my life really changed? Biloxi Gulfport at age 17 at a fraternity rush beach party. I went into full blown auto immune attack that came close to killing me. I hold nothing against the Gulf Coast. I still love it very much.

    You know what the Vietnamese finance manager said tonight? He said why must you buy something practical at your age? Buy what makes you happy.

    We agreed on loving Vietnamese food. He was shocked I could and did cook it, knew my foods, loved the same foods. His first and last name is French. He has been here since age ten.

  65. Yeah, I’ve gotten into trouble in Biloxi a few times, too; just not that kind of trouble.

    Good point. Perhaps I need to start planning now for my black on black on black Mustang convertible.

    Still working on a personalized tag for Blackjack.

  66. You can drive mine all you like until you get your own. I like to share, makes me happy.

    Yes, I got in some of same kind of trouble in Biloxi. It has that effect. Well, so did New Orleans and other places. Lafayette, Monroe, Natchez, Vicksburg, Shreveport, mostly close by in those days. ????

    Women didn’t go far afield back then.

  67. Jackie:

    If that is the VIN, it doesn’t work in a search engine. I noticed that it has 19 characters instead of 17.

    It seems that your pony has a 5.0 engine. If so, good choice.

    I have a 3.6 in my Camaro, but I wish that I had gone full bore and bought an SS with a 6.2.

    However, I just couldn’t find a way to rationalize buying a car that expensive and that powerful.

    Too bad that Chevy doesn’t offer a 5.0. I would have definitely bought that.

  68. Just emailed an MPR announcer; some of you may be interested.

    ‘Turned MPR on just before Vivaldi’s “The Goldfinch.” You may already know about American vs. European goldfinches, and have probably seen ours. Both are members of the genus Carduelis, which has 6 spp. here [2 redpolls, pine siskin, and 2 other goldfinches], some of which also occur in the Old World. Our goldfinch is one elegant bird, males of course more so than females.* IMO, the European sp. is flat-out gaudy. It could be called the harlequin finch, but there’s already a harlequin duck. [*Phalaropes and a few other birds reverse this.]

    ‘Just checked latest cladistic taxonomy. Cladists have split up, so Am. and Eur. goldfinches are in two closely related genera. I’m no taxonomist, and definitely no cladist, but nobody has asked my opinion.’


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