13 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: K Stands For: Kites

I'm mean the string-paper-cloth-wood-plastic-whatever things you send up into the air. Not the bird. Although I do think the bird is cool, with the white head and colorful feathers--

Ahem.


A little history:

Kites were first used around 800 BCE in China. At that time, they were made out of silk and bamboo--silk for both the cloth and the string, bamboo for the framework. They were even fitted with whistles and strings to make musical sounds while flying, and decorated with symbols.


In the 1200s, Marco Polo--that well-known explorer--went to Europe with stories about kites, and sailors from Japan and Malaysia in the 1500s and 1600s brought them back. Even so, it was until the 1700s and the 1800s that kites began to be used for scientific purposes. (One of the more famous examples would be sending up a kite to see if it attracts lightning.)


The first known example of hang gliding, for a glider is a kind of kite, is Yuan Huangtou, a Chinese Emperor who was flown down from a tower in 559 AD against his will. He survived (although he was to be executed later), unlike some other royalty who have gotten into the air, such as King Bladud who fell to his death in 880 BC.


As for me, I have a bad history with kites. They always seem to have some kind of agenda. It's either a.) the kite breaks b.) refuses to go up in the air c.) the wind doesn't cooperate or d.) there isn't enough space. Maybe I read too much Peanuts.


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Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kite

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Have you ever flown a kite?


-----The Golden Eagle
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31 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, those are cool. I flew kites a lot as a kid and took Josh Kite flying a fair amount.

Pearson Report said...

I'm so glad you chose 'kite' as your 'K' topic - I just knew you'd have some amazing photos.

My daughter, who will be 24 tomorrow, had a little kite which we flew all the time. We were fortunate not to meet any of the challenges that you had and her little kite (named Flyery) always obliged.

I still have that little kite in my cupboard - I wonder if it would enjoy an outing...hmm!

Cheers, Jenny

Lauracea said...

The ship kite is fantastic. I don't know if this is a Brit expression or universal but when you want someone to p**s
off, you say, "Go fly a kite". I don't mean that to you, of course LOL. More facts learnt today - will my brain contain them all, that's the problem? :)
Sue

Nate Wilson said...

Last time I tried flying a kite, I did quite well. The groove it left along the ground as I ran was impressively straight.

By the way, if you'd really read too much Peanuts, both you and your kite would be tangled high up in a tree, and unable to write this post. Not that your kite would ever be able to write this post; I'm pretty sure kites aren't self-aware.

the writing pad said...

Beautiful kite photos. Flying one must be fun - but wouldn't you just hate to crash that ship one ...

Emily Rose said...

Those are beautiful kites! I can't place my finger on what is so thrilling about flying a kite, but I love doing it!

Carol Riggs said...

What gorgeous kite photos! Thanks for sharing those. :) I used to fly kites on the beach. Very fun!

Lucy Adams said...

I have bad luck with kites, too.

Lucy

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Flown a kite or tried to fly a kite? I've done the latter.

li said...

I have never been successful at keeping a kite aloft. But I particularly enjoy watching them on the beach in summer.

Michelle in a shell said...

I always found kites really interesting...despite never being able to actually successfully work one!

N. R. Williams said...

Love the pictures Golden, kites are fabulous. I've flown them many times when I was young. Once I had a dream that I was a kite and my family held the strings. They kept begging me to come down and I refused. I think I was about 5 years old at the time.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Kites seem to be popular today. I posted it too.

Those are some gorgeous picks.

I flew kites as a kid and had a blast. Of course the occasional string breaking happened. It comes with the territory.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Loved the kite pictures .. let alone the background to kites .. glad I chose the bird this time!

Thanks - enjoyed this - Hilary

Patricia A. Timms said...

Don't feel alone. Kites hate me too. How is it a kite made for wind doesn't want to fly on a windy day?

I say, Looks like a good day to fly a kite.

Everyone else says, Too windy. Won't fly.

I don't get it. Great post!

Michael Offutt said...

Those kites are cool. I especially like the ship one.

Sun Singer said...

All this fun and cool information about kites makes me feel like a failure for never being able to fly one. Goodness knows, many people have suggested that I do it.

Malcolm

klahanie said...

Brilliant info and pictures. I've now got this urge to go fly a kite.
Thanks and I wonder what the 'L' will be next in this fascinating blogging challenge :)
Take good care,
Gary

Carole Anne Carr said...

Used to get the little ones in my classes to make Chinese style kites, great fun.

Josh Hoyt said...

I'm with you on the kite thing it just never seems to work out...or maybe i just by the dollar store kites :)

Liz P said...

I love that last picture...

I was never very good at kite flying. I could never get it off the ground long enough to fly properly. But it's fun to watch others.

Jules said...

Lord, we use to have kite fights. Imagine airplane dog fights but with kites. And I loved the last pic :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jai Joshi said...

The world's largest kite festival is in my home state of Gujarat in India. I was there last year during January when people all over the world were flying in to take part in the competition. It was incredible. Discarded kite string was everywhere, kite makers were on every street corner (making a killing in money) and every single kid was on the rooftops, flying their kites with visions of glory.

Great post, Golden Eagle.

Jai

The Writing Goddess said...

Love kites, totally impressed by the rainbow sailing ship.

Though I don't fly one often, I keep one, and a spool of kite string, in the trunk of my car. And bubbles.

Because you never know when the wind will be just right and the inner child ready to come out and play.

Trisha said...

When I was in primary school, we made kites. Some of them even flew! :D

....Petty Witter said...

What an interesting and fascinating post - you have me singing Lets Go Fly A Kite from Mary Poppins now.

J.L. Campbell said...

I can't say I ever have, but it's something we do here during Easter time. We even have a kite festival.

Tomara Armstrong said...

I like the idea of kits, but in Western Oklahoma either they are beaten to death or lost forever.

I love the photos
~2

The Golden Eagle said...

Charles: Sounds like fun!

Jenny: I'm glad you've been enjoying the images! :)

What a great name for a kite.

Maybe!

Lauracea: I thought so, too.

I knew about that expression--I don't know if it's British or not. I can't find anything online that says it is, although one answer does tie it to the 1929 stock market crash.

Nate: Wow. A straight groove? Mine were always so zig-zaggy.

LOL. You're probably right about that. I'd most likely be shouting for help in a tree/bound and tied.

Karla: True.

Emily: Someday I'll fly a kite! It sounds like a lot of fun. :D

Carol: You're welcome!

Flying one on the beach sounds amazing.

Lucy: They just don't get up in the air, for some reason.

Alex: Me, too. :P

Li: They're so cool to watch, flying up in the air.

The Golden Eagle said...

Michelle: It seems so simple--have one person hold the kite, run into the wind, release kite. Voila.

Only I can never get it. :P

Nancy: Glad you liked the pics! :)

That must have been some dream. Were you having fun as a kite?

Michael: Cool! I'll have to read your post.

Well, I'd be okay with the string breaking, since it means the kite actually got up into the air! LOL.

Hilary: You're very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Patricia: IDK. I know that some winds are too strong, but it seems like other winds are too weak to carry a kite up into the air . . .

Thanks!

Michael: I do, too!

Malcolm: I wonder why they seem to work for some people, and not others. There have been perfectly windy days, but the kite just won't go up!

Gary: I've got the urge to go and try to fly a kite--I don't know if I'll ever be able to get one into the air. :P

Anytime!

Carole: I love Chinese kites! :)

Josh: It seems any kite should go into the air for at least a few minutes, regardless of where it came from. LOL, if only that were true.

The Golden Eagle said...

Liz: It is fun to watch people fly kites! :)

Jules: I've heard of kite fighting--there was lot of it in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (one of my favorite books), and it sounds like a wild sport! In a good way. :D

Jai: It sounds like an amazing festival! The world's largest? Wow.

Thank you!

The Writing Goddess: I love that idea! :)

Trisha: Awesome!

Wish mine did. LOL.

Tracy: And now you've got me singing the song. I hadn't even thought of it before. :)

J.L.: So I suppose it would be about to start, right?

Tomara: Sounds like they get a lot of use. :D

Glad you liked the pics!