Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

March 17
Wattles: Not Just for Turkeys Anymore

Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), Saint Joseph of Arimathea (mentioned in both "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"), Saint Agricola, Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, Saint Paul of Cyprus, and the Martyrs of the Serapeum.

Joseph of Arimathea was supposed to have built a church out of wattles. Wattles? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are a heck of a lot of different types of wattles. The kind with which I was most familiar hang off turkey necks. They are pretty spectacular--when the turkey (these are male turkeys we are talking about here) gets excited for any reason, the red wattles become huge and the face turns bright purple. Those wattles are great on a turkey, but would make a lousy church.

The second most common (to me) wattles hang off the necks of goats and are nothing but ornaments--I have no idea how they evolved since they serve no purpose. If you are bottle-raising baby goats and one of them has wattles, the other babies will use the wattles as pacifiers, much to the chagrin of the wattled one.

Third, some breeds of swine have wattles similar to those on goats.

The fourth kind of wattles are trees that grow in Australia and have bright yellow flowers.

Then, of course, there are the wattles made famous in "Ally McBeal." You can have these taken care of with plastic surgery, but then you might end up looking like Dyan Cannon (also in "Ally McBeal"). There are worse things than having wattles.



Here's a new wattle for me: rolls of straw used to control erosion.

But the OED's first definition of wattle, and one with which I was completely unfamiliar, was "rods and stakes, interlaced with twigs or branches of trees, used to form fences and the walls and roofs of buildings."


If you plaster mud on the sticks, then the construction is called "wattle and daub."

This has already been more than anyone needs to know about wattles so, although there are still three more to go...wattle-bird, a wattle on a fish, and the wattle that is sort of a tax...I think I will just drop it now.


Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland, of course) , Saint Gertrude of Nivelles (patron saint of travelers and gardeners), Saint Jan Sarkander , Saint Joseph of Arimathea (mentioned in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"), Saint Paul of Cyprus.

Not Celebrating: Bobby Jones (1902), Jim Bridger (1804), Nat "King" Cole (1919), Rudolf Nureyev (1938).

Still Celebrating: Lesley-Anne Down (1954, London).

And, from IMDB...the complete list of celebrating stars.


Onward to March 18
Back to March 16

Back to the Farm

Marilyn Jones 2002-2008