Sunday, August 06, 2006


I've been casually collecting decoys for the last year or two; I especially like shorebird decoys. My favorite of this little group is the American Avocet. I bought it last year when my husband and I went to the Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show at the Tuckerton Seaport. The seaport is a great place to visit if you're interested in the maritime history of the Jersey Shore, specifically the Barnegat Bay region. The show features local artists and carvers and has some fun contests like duck and goose calling, decoy rigs, whittling, and model sneakboxes. There's also usually retriever contests and lots of Lab puppies running around. I'm already looking forward to this year's show on September 24th and 25th.

Today's great accomplishment was cleaning off my desk so that I could take a pic and show off my decoys. You can see the rest of my little collection along the top of the bookshelf. What a project! I'm amazed at the way things pile up around here in just one month's time, despite my being good about throwing stuff away. So now I've got a clean dust-free desk and lots of surface space to pile more stuff on. All the important papers have been filed away never to be seen again. Someday I'll learn to be organized.


Michelle said...

Ha! What was that that Silverlight said about talking to youself meant you were organized?? I wish :)

I always feel so much better when things are straightened and properly placed.

bunnygirl said...

Hey, those are cool! My mom has a couple of antique duck decoys, but I've never seen any like yours!

Susan Gets Native said...

I LOVE that feeling I get when I have organized a space in my house. If only I could keep the spaces looking like that.

Decoys! That's a neat thing to collect if you're into birds. Lots of different bird types, but a central theme. Hmmmm....our local bird store has decoys. I may have to give them another look.

Andrew said...

I may be a little naive, but do people really shoot those types of shore birds? Or are the decoys used to attract specimens for bird watchers, photographers, etc.?

To Love, Honor and Dismay

LauraHinNJ said...

Good question, Andrew. Mine are just for show, but working decoys are used for hunting, yes.

I'm not sure that any shorebirds are hunted, other than maybe snipe, anyone know? I'll have to look that up - thanks for prompting me to learn a bit!

Bunnygirl: Antique decoys are beyond my means, but I love to look at them. I like those that are done in a more primitve style, whereas my husband likes the more realistic ones.

I keep my eye out for them in odd places - this summer a local guy was selling them at a street fair and at a very nice price!

Susan: I will keep the desk clean (repeating that over and over)! And what is that saying Michelle, about a clean desk being a sign of a sick mind - you should see my desk at work - not!

MojoMan said...

Oh...Millions of shorebirds were slaughtered by hunters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many species were hunted almost to extinction. Luckily, the early conservation movement began in time to save many.

James Michener's "Chesapeake" tells a remarkable story of market hunting in the mid-Atlantic.

Sandy said...

What a nice collection. I love them, too.

bev said...

I tried to leave a comment to this post last night, but it doesn't seem to have worked. I'll give this another try tonight. I used to do a lot of carving, and shorebird decoys were a favourite. When I was doing reseach on these decoys, I visited the Shelburne Museum near Burlington, Vermont (probably about 1994 or 95). They have a wonderful shorebird decoy collection -- well worth a visit if you've never been. Lots of other wood carvings and americana as well (hopefully, the shorebird collection is still on display as it was when I visited).

LauraHinNJ said...

Very interesting, Bev - where did you learn to carve?

It something to see a decoy in progress - at the Tuckerton Seaport you can watch the artists as they work - so neat to watch a block of wood transformed into something so much more beautiful.

Thanks for the info about the Vermont museum - if I'm ever up that way I'll consider a visit.

bev said...

I've been carving for years and just picked up new things along the way. I don't do too much these days as I'm busy with so many projects. I agree about it being neat to watch a block of wood (or stone) transformed into a work of art.