Two clips of my adventures in falconry. In both clips you get to see why one should always pack one’s flat-iron, and in the first you get to see a) my slow-mo “Wow” and b) my bulbous Irish nose and sagging double-chin. Seriously – am starting to resemble the late Tim Russert (but when he was alive). The magnificent Harris’s hawk’s name is Michelangelo and he truly is a work of art. Thank you, Killarney Falconry (linked above) and Sheen Falls Lodge for this experience. [Thanks to Nick Morelli @icantgetnosleep — on instagram — for the first video and Aparna Pednekar for the second.]
They deserve our respect:
Everything alive is essentially a mystery, and pigeons, with their extraordinary mental and physical powers, are more mysterious than most. They were domesticated thousands of years ago, long before chickens or ducks, which makes them the bird on Earth to which we have the longest close relationship. Pigeons matter.
If you go to my National Geographic page, and scroll through my photos, you will see a few pigeon pics. Also, a couple of previous blog posts concerning pigeons: here and here.
Was away on a trip, hence the lack of blogging. Will post about our trip (a couple of weeks away in Europe) later, but to begin with, a birdie in the Luxembourg Gardens. I think he looks very French.
How about this lovely guy? Saw him in Sudbury Thanksgiving weekend.
As regular readers know, my mother died last year. Most of her ashes were scattered in 2014, but for various reasons there were some left to scatter still. So last week that deed was done, and it turned into quite a lovely nature walk.
First, we met a super polite groundhog who held up his little paw when he coughed/burped.
Then we saw this lovely guy…
…who apparently had something to say.
And that something was “Kiss my backside, humans.”
And then we met a skittish bunny.
But he wasn’t so skittish that he couldn’t also manage a loud and clear message, similar to the duck’s.
Mum would most definitely approve.
I was thinking about pigeons and it brought to mind this great quote from a book I read a few years back. The book is Masks in a Pageant — and I highly recommend it — by the great American journalist William Allen White. The quote follows:
The thrush, the oriole, the bird of paradise, are esteemed by society, while the unlovely hell-diver is despised. Nature has no favorites. All her creatures are equally beloved; in God’s kingdom all the subjects are of royal blood. The earthworm is as useful as the lion; the amoeba has full fellowship with man.
I saw this beautiful guy (or gal) on my recent trip to Italy. Birdie was just enjoying the sun. Really nice colouring, yes? I know it seems I may be developing a(nother) weird obsession, but I think pigeons get a bum rap…
Or a wood pigeon. The bird in my previous post, that is (scroll down). I got two answers, one from someone who told me it was a wood pigeon, one who said it was a culver. I looked both up and they are the same bird, but “culver” kind of sounds better, though I have nothing against pigeons. I defend them all the time. (I took many pictures of pigeons in Italy and will post some of those photos later.) All I can say is, the birdie in question had a voice such as I have never heard come out of a street pigeon. But then, it was a French wood pigeon, so maybe that was a reflection of its attitude. At any rate, thanks very much to the two readers who sent in answers. I’m just amazed I have two readers. The internets are marvelous that way.
Don’t laugh if it’s a really dumb question, but what is this UFO? We saw him/her in Paris in late March, outside our little flat, flying about with a buddy. Very large, with a LOUD voice that it was using an awful lot. I’m sorry I couldn’t get a better picture, but it had lovely markings which you can sort of see here. So what birdie is this, dear readers? One of you must know.