The Green Man and The Mighty Grackle

The photo101 assignment of the day: Mystery

I love how this figure/idea shows up across all kinds of cultures yet nobody seems to know very much about him.

the green man
the green man

And a silly mystery … why would anyone hate a bird that eats lawn pests?

mysterious grackle
grackle, hunting

15 thoughts on “The Green Man and The Mighty Grackle

  1. I am also a fan of the green man. A friend, who sadly died earlier in the year, carved a wonderful piece for my other half. I will photograph it and put it on my blog for you. And I also love crows. And your photos. So it is love love love. :)


  2. I am fascinated by the Green Man which seems to be a pagan image predating Christianity, although the name is nineteenth century. Previously they were known as ‘ foliate faces’. They can be found in medieval churches throughout Europe. We have a curious variation here in many Suffolk churches known as the Woodwose. He is not just a face but a hairy man carrying a club. He can be found on old fonts. Sometimes he will be in the porch and doing battle with a wyvern or a ‘ worm’ There are several legends about dragons round here. There is one quite near here called the ‘Wissington Worm’. A woodwose would come in very handy to protect you from a worm.(dragon)


    1. One of my university professors was a bit obsessed with these kinds of images. I wonder if maybe you have bumped into her — you’ve listed some of her haunts. ;) I just love stuff like this.


      1. So do I. When I was doing my Masters in Eighteenth century art, I became friendly with another student who was doing her M.A. thesis on medieval fonts and their imagery. I got absolutely,fascinated in her subject and really wished I’d thought of doing that.


  3. Your green man photo reminds me of the guy in all those old maps who represents the North Wind. He’s usually in the upper left and you see the cold wind coming out of his puffed checks and pursed lips.


  4. I agree with you – grackles are under appreciated. I’ve always thought that mechanical noise they make as the males preen and pose was eerie in the most wonderful way. The expression on that grackle is wonderful to see – such intensity.


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