Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blue Jay (Version 2)

Blue Jay

(Version 2)

A blue jay has no pigment,

its feathers are filled with air,

and blue is just a figment

of the light refracted there.

If you were lacking colour

and people stared through you,

could life be any duller,

and wouldn’t you be blue?

It now becomes apparent

why jays are territorial.

Since they’re so transparent

they need boundaries arboreal.

Respect the jay’s contention

and see its point of view...

the right of its intention

to be both colourless and blue.

(Larry is too lazy to try and figure out the code that will correct the goofy line spacing.)


Anonymous said...

Dear Lazy Larry,

Wild Thing likes and appreciates that blue jay poem.

Colour is such a brain smasher. Is there actually colour in outer space? On Mars? On the moon? We can never know from each other what we really see, when we agree on something to be red or green or blue or yellow. Do some people or creatures see more colours than we can name? We have different colour eyes. Does the make up of the eye have to do with how we see? What do colour blind people really see when for example they think peanut butter is green?

Apparently somewher in the Pacific there is an island where all citizens are severly colour blind. Their eyes are highly sensative to sun light. So sensative it is painful. They suffered until they discovered sun glasses.

Is what we see a communication between light and eyes?

Do blue jays see colour?

So, there is a code to correct goofy line spaces of poetry in the blogs? Didn't know that.

Xena said...

When I first saw the title, I thought it was going to be a baseball piece....

And what about Version 1? Or did you skip all the way to write Version 2 first? And why not?

It occurs to me that Buddhists like metaphor and paradoxes and ironies...

Transcend all of that - and there are no such thing as colour or blue jays or wandering minds...

And then again, surface, look around, and there are such things... what a lovely playground life can be.

Larry Keiler said...

Ah wild thing, yes, communication between light and eyes, with brain and consciousness as the mediators.

Larry doesn't know for sure, but he thinks there is colour in outer space cuz colour is not dependent on atmosphere but only light and someone to see it.

HWSRN's brother is colour-blind. Larry doesn't remember which colour he has difficulty with, but mostly what it means is that, because of a physical deficiency (some part missing) your brain doesn't interpret all the nuances of colour. It's not that you see something weird, you just don't see all the colours. So if you have a red deficiency, you can't see ketchup as red. It's a different colour.

Human eyes have the ability to distinguish every colour there is within the visible spectrum of light as far as Larry knows. He doesn't know whether blue jays see colour. He thinks birds see colour. In fact, they must. Colour is part of their survival mechanism...mating, eating etc.

But dogs don't see colour. Too bad. Larry thinks colour is a marvellous thing. But then, he can't smell things or hear things the way dogs do. Then again, he doesn't think he really wants to smell dogs-do the way dogs do.

@ xena: There is a version 1. It's almost identical except for the last stanza. Version 2 says pretty much the same thing, but scans better.

The bliss of the buddha is to have the playground yet not be snared by it, eh?

@ wild thing again: Yes there is code, but it's like another language. When you are writing a post you have two tabs on the top right. One says "Edit html" and the other says "Compose". Normally you're in Compose mode, but you can switch to Edit html and that's the code. Actually, it's text and code. (The way Larry made italics here is with code.) There is a way to insert spaces, but Larry forgets the code and has to look it up every time. But you can't put this code in there in the Compose mode and expect it to work. It would just show up as text. You have to be in Edit HTML mode.

Larry Keiler said...

xena, not the last stanza, the third stanza. it's the third stanza that's different.

X said...

I seem to recall in an old OMNI Mag I read eons ago that frogs and such see ultraviolet colours that we can't?

Or maybe I am just making that up.

And maybe birds - I think they "see" the electromagnetic field" and that's how they know where they are going when they migrate?

But then again, maybe I am making that up too...

Larry Keiler said...

Larry doesn't know the specifics. Even if you did make it up, what you say is right in a general sense.

Larry wonders if it's fair to say that the human field of perception is fairly narrowly defined in relation to the possibilities. We know that other animals perceive light in different ways, hear frequencies we can't hear. We have the sense field that suits us, and they have theirs.

But that makes an argument for ESP, no? Just because we don't ordinarily perceive something, doesn't mean it's not there... lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure all dogs see colour. But am pretty sure some do. I've seen a dog offered two balls to play with, thrown simultaniously,one dark brown and one bright red. He always picked the red one.

My mother in law claimed that the dog we had, when I was married and we lived in with the in-laws, always waited by the bay window, third floor, for people to come home. Any person could come around the corner and he wouldn't react. I'd come around the corner in my bright green coat, and he barked and jumped down to wait for me by the door.It couldn't be smell from that distance.The windows were closed. Posture? Don't know but I often do have the impression that dogs do see colour differences.

I am aware that colour blindness is a defect. Not the best example for the topic. Still very interesting. There is a wide range of intensity of colour blindness, and difference in which colours are and are not perceived.

I am trying to remember moon pictures. Weren't they mainly greyish? I mean when the men were on the moon.

I wonder always if there are colours, objects, life forms on the moon, or on other heavenly bodies, which earth humans have not the faculties to perceive. I am almost convinced that there must be, without scientific proof.

And yes, I thought of that too, that colour on animals, birds and mammals, insects too, help in the recognition of enenmy, potential partner,and food supply. (Nectar for birds bees, and butterflies.)

Do they see the colours we see? Or are there other distinctive markings? Smell could also play a roll. Or even different vibrations.
Magnetic fields?

I guess I am just marvelling about all the endless possibilities,in awe with all the things that lie outside our field of perception. Thinking about them beats playing bingo.

I think I let my sloppy (or slippy? That's what I first wrote) typos be. The process of correcting them sounds too complicated to poor, little,

wild thing me.

Larry Keiler said...

Here is what Larry found when he Googled this question: Do dogs see in colour?

Several websites popped up. This is the answer from:

A number of studies have been done to investigate the color vision of dogs, and the results have been conflicting. However, more recent, better controlled studies indicate that dogs do possess and use color vision, but not to the same degree that humans do. The photoreceptor used for color vision is the cone, and there are cones present in the canine retina. However, they are present in low numbers, comprising less than 10% of the total photoreceptor population in the central area of the retina, as opposed to the human retina which consists of nearly 100% cones in the fovea. Two distinct type of cones appear to be present in the canine retina. One type is maximally sensitive to light in the wavelength that appears violet to people, and the other type is maximally sensitive to light in the wavelength that appears yellow-green to people. Thus, it appears that the visual spectrum of color in dogs is divided into two hues; one in the violet and blue-violet range, probably appearing as blue, and the other in the greenish-yellow, yellow, and red range, which is probably seen as yellow. Light that appears blue-green to people probably appears as white or shades of gray to dogs. Dogs are unable to differentiate colors that appear as green, yellow-green, orange or red to people, and are unable to differentiate greenish-blue from gray. This is similar to people who are red-green color blind. However, one study indicates that dogs are better able to differentiate between subtle shades of gray than people, which would be advantageous in increasing visual discrimination in low light conditions, where insufficient light is available to stimulate cones.

So Larry learned something new. Dogs do.

Xena said...

Farley dog wakes up in the morning, and then stays up for about an hour, then sneaks downstairs to take the bed that Bob and I have just vacated. He sleeps there, quite pleased with himself that he now has possession of our bed. He sleeps and sleeps, waking once in a while to come upstairs to see me. Around two or so, he goes to bed for a long old-dog sleep. He wakes up each night at the time he expects me home from the studio - I don't know if he senses me coming home or what. But there he is, waiting for me in the window, and he reacts - he knows it is me - regardless of the colour of the coat I am wearing - gets very excited in the window - acts like a young puppy. Sometimes even before I get out of the car, even before I drive the car into the driveway. This from an old dog who bumps into things because he can't see!

Smell is THE sense for a dog and then hearing and then sight. I often wonder what it is like for a dog to smell things on a walk - smells must be so thick and layered and much more sensuous than for us. I read somewhere that smell organs for a dog are different than ours - that they almost "see" smells in a way we can't understand or perceive. Smells have texture and shape and dimension....

wild thing said...

There is more to animals than physical perception. Even if we do not tell them that we are going away, they know. Even if we try to hide the suit cases. Our dogs and cats in New Brunswick knew we were leaving them, when it was still only in our minds, long before we physically acted on it.

When Nigel was in England, and when he phoned, Simon sensed that it was him on the phone. No colours, no smell.

When we had two pups, Jody and Peggy, when Peggy didn't show up for days, at one certain time, Jody howled a puppy howl, long and sad. It turned out to be the time her sister had been shot, and died.

That all should not take away the fact that dogs may also have some kind of colour perception, should it?

Larry Keiler said...

Larry sez: Dogs are dogs. That's why we call em dogs. We could call em cats, but that would upset the natural order of the universe.

LaLaLeo, on the other hand, the poodlish counterpart of Farleydog, often exhibits cat-like behaviour cuz he been livin' wid cats since he was a pup. He grooms cat-like (but thank the lord does not cough up hairballs), he plays with Cosmicat like he's some sort of alpha male (the little twerp) and now and then asserts his amorous intentions even though he's been neutered and he's old enough to be his own grandfather.

Unlike Farleydog, LaLaLeo don't wait by the window for the mistress to come home. He sleeps on the bed and now don't hear nothin' until she comes up the stairs and closes the bathroom door. That's when he knows something's afoot. He does the same when HWSRN comes home, but that's only because he thinks it's the mistress. HWSRN is just that guy. LaLaLeo sez: "Oh, it's you! Time to go back to sleep."

wild thing said...

Simon has been around cats all his life. The sound he makes when he is contented sounds suspiciously much like purring. A sharp contrast to his killer bark, wherewith he invites passers by to stop, and come and talk to him. It's good that most people around here know him. His friendly invitation could scare a mass murderer away. There is a bit of difference in the bark for people that he doesn't know yet, and the ones that are his friends allready. But you have to be familiar with his bark nuances to be able to tell. Now his bark when Nigel comes home is totally different again. Just as loud but with a happy wiggle in it. Whereas a short, sharp bark means, "Let me in!" It's the kind of bark that doesn't take no for an answer.

I wonder how his barks would look in colour. You know how at disco dances they have those flashing coloured lights that respond to the music? How does that work?