A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

El Hornero - Furnarius rufus
Tuesday, May 03, 2016






In my youth I was fortunate to be sent to summer camps in the Argentine Pampa by my parents. There was the pleasure of riding a horse on an Argentine saddle (two or three sheepskins cinched up with stirrups) and running after South American ostriches (but never catching up to them), of seeing  that lonely Ombú (a sort of very large tree) breaking the monotony of the horizon, the sound of the teros, a most elegant bird, swooping to protect their nests, not finding any pebbles to use with my sling because the pampas are just plain and rich dirt, but in reference to this blog, seeing those roundish Hornero nests on top of crooked fence posts (when one happened to see a fence post, a most rare occurrence, brought me delight. I was told by gauchos that the serpentine entrance of the nest is supposed to prevent snakes and other little animals from getting to the eggs.


  
The genus Furnarius contains several species, all small birds, living on the ground, and inhabiting open dry countries. In structure they cannot be compared to any European form. Ornithologists have generally included them among the creepers, although opposed to that family en every habit. The best known species is the common oven-bird of La Plata, the Casara or housemaker of the Spaniards. The nest, whence it takes its name, is place in the most exposed situations, as on the top of a post, a bare rock, or on a cactus. It is composed of mud and bits of straw, and has strong thick walls: in shape it precisely resembles an oven, or depressed beehive. The opening is large and arched, and directly in front, within the nest, there is a partition, which reaches nearly to the roof, thus forming a passage or antechamber to the true nest.
Chapter V – The Voyage of the Beagle – Charles Darwin



Poesía "El Hornero" de Leopoldo Lugones

La casita del hornero

tiene alcoba y tiene sala.

En la alcoba la hembra instala

justamente el nido entero.



En la sala, muy orondo,

el padre guarda la puerta,

con su camisa entreabierta

sobre su buche redondo.



Lleva siempre un poco viejo

su traje aseado y sencillo,

que, con tanto hacer ladrillo,

se la habrá puesto bermejo.



Elige como un artista

el gajo de un sauce añoso,

o en el poste rumoroso

se vuelve telegrafista.



Allá, si el barro está blando,

canta su gozo sincero.

Yo quisiera ser hornero

y hacer mi choza cantando.



Así le sale bien todo,

y así, en su honrado desvelo,

trabaja mirando al cielo

en el agua de su lodo.

Por fuera la construcción,

como una cabeza crece,

mientras, por dentro, parece

un tosco y buen corazón.



Pues como su casa es centro

de todo amor y destreza,

la saca de su cabeza

y el corazón pone adentro.



La trabaja en paja y barro,

lindamente la trabaja,

que en el barro y en la paja

es arquitecto bizarro.



La casita del hornero

tiene sala y tiene alcoba,

y aunque en ella no hay escoba,

limpia está con todo esmero.



Concluyó el hornero el horno,

y con el último toque,

le deja áspero el revoque

contra el frío y el bochorno.



Ya explora al vuelo el circuito,

ya, cobre la tierra lisa,

con tal fuerza y garbo pisa,

que parece un martillito.



La choza se orea, en tanto,

esperando a su señora,

que elegante y avizora,

llena su humildad de encanto.



Y cuando acaba, jovial,

de arreglarla a su deseo,

le pone con un gorjeo

su vajilla de cristal.



     

Previous Posts
Conservatively Restrained

Without the power to die

Lessons on the piny

The Little Black Dress - Vastly Overrated

Swatting Flies

The Water Baby

Ample make this bed

How happy is the little stone

Sleep is supposed to be

Circe A Sirena



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5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16