First things first: yes, those birds in the photo are pigeons. Why pigeons, you ask?
Well, let me introduce Holly Erickson, your Archaic Culture columnist from Milford, Ohio. Holly defines Archaic Culture as “just about anything to do with European (predominantly English, Norse, or Scottish) lifestyles that are now practically obsolete.”
In the Archaic Culture column, Holly will share her passion for the cultural norms, music, writings, art, and language of the time—everything involving the Archaic Age. Keep an eye out for her articles this year!
Holly is a second year TPSer. Last year, she loved Medieval/Renaissance Comp/Lit/History Honors (thanks to Dr. Leake!) but did not enjoy Physics (you’re still awesome, Mrs. Brown!). You might have her as a classmate this year in Latin 2 and Photoshop.
Outside of school, Holly has some owlsome activities. She works at a dressage barn and an exotic animal hospital and volunteers with the Cincinnati Nature Center.
By now, you are probably dying to know what the pigeons are all about.
Holly is a bird enthusiast and expert. One of her favorite sports to watch is pigeon rolling, which involves—you guessed it!—rolling pigeons. Holly describes these hilarious and incredible videos on pigeon rolling: “You kind of bowl the pigeon, and it will forward-roll for a while of its own volition. The pigeon that does this for the longest distance wins.”
In addition to watching pigeon rolling, Holly has six homing pigeons and is currently training herself (and her birds) for pigeon racing. In case you are not a pigeon racer yourself, Holly is more than happy to explain.
“In pigeon racing, one trains homing pigeons to return home from long distances. Pigeon races are when many pigeons from separate lofts are released at one point and each fly back to their respective lofts… from over one hundred miles (often up to three hundred or so). It is an exciting and wonderful sport!”
In fact, Holly loves these creatures so much that she is willing to sacrifice her deep yearning to become a knight for a career as an ornithologist, which is—to save you from Googling—someone who studies birds.
She has always been interested in birds for as long as she can remember. But her specific fascination with pigeons and pigeon racing stemmed from her participation in her 4-H club. While skimming through a list of projects, something caught her eye: a self-determined pigeon project, which involves the opportunity to participate with fancy, utility, and sporting pigeons. After doing some preliminary research, she fell in love with Belgian racing homers (a specialized breed of homing pigeon) and immediately decided to tackle this project. The program was not much of a birden because she just loved it and even won an honorable mention.
Someone who inspires Holly is DeVere Burt, an amazing, kind, patient, and generous teacher and pigeon racer.
She also has many hobbies besides birds. Her favorite standalone book is Beowulf, and her favorite series is The Chronicles of the Summer King, for which she writes music that goes with the characters’ songs. How to Train Your Dragon 1-3 and The Greatest Showman are her go-to favorite movies.
Perhaps one day you will find Holly munching on tacos and nachos at her ideal vacation spot: the New Zealand or Philippine rainforest—a place filled with wildlife and where the occasional spider bites are worth it for the magnificent birds. When the thunderstorms roll in, she will sing a song based on Proverbs 3:5 from memory, reminding her that she can trust God implicitly.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, please fly over to her column to start your adventure with Holly as your tour guide. Remember to remain seated at all times and hang on to your personal belongings, especially your laptop, because you are in for a wild ride learning about the fascinating world of the Archaic Age that you never knew existed!