Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day Seven

Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. We had a nice breakfast and went for a walk. Down to Trafalger Square. A big beautiful square with fountains and statues and tourists in the middle of town. In this square are four giant plinths. Bronze statues stand on three of these plinths and the fourth is used for specially commissioned artworks. We were there on a fact finding mission. Investigating the size of the situation for future possibilities. Currently on this fourth plinth is Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, by artist Yinka Shonibare MBE.

In the square at the time was a bird trainer training a juvenile Harris Hawk. He would set the bird on a wall or tree and walk away, pull out a piece of food, slap the food bag against his thigh, and the beauty would fly back to him across the square buzzing the tourists.
It was amazing. I asked if he was afraid the raptor wouldn't come back but he said it always did eventually.

We strolled around Soho, window shopping and people watching, enjoying the day and Todd ended up in the Sassoon Salon.
Back at the hotel we were picked up by a car and driver to head out of town to a village called Tring, a typical English town an hour out of London.
Built in 1889 to house the private natural history collection of Walter Rothschild, the Natural History Museum at Tring is a fascinating Noah's ark in the Hartfordshire countryside.
This place is filled with taxidermied creatures great and small. We were there mainly to see examples of The Lost Bird Project. Like the Great Auk.
The Great Auk at Tring
The Passenger Pigeon.
And the Carolina Parakeet.
Carolina Parakeet at Tring
They have cases and cases of birds.
Pair a Pelicans
Hella Hawks
Hawk Eyes

They also had cases and cases of insects.
Dragonfly at Tring
All kinds of animals from all over the world. Lions and Tigers and Bears.
Zebras at Tring
Including cases of domesticated dogs taxidermied. No Papillions or Border Collies.
Little Dog at Tring
Crabs, fish, moths, butterflies, snakes, and an Elephant Seal.
Elephant Seal at Tring
They have all kinds of crazy stuff including whatever the hell this is.
Whatever the Hell This Is at Tring
All real and surreal and slightly sad. The place is cool.

Then we cruised back to the city and had a killer Indian dinner.

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reverend dick said...

Falconry? Yes.

i'm in idaho? said...

ye olde cheshire cheese pub. its a cavernous sam smith pub up an old alley at 145 fleet street in "the city" section of london. lots of suits on weekdays but worth the history lesson. charlie dickens drank there. smelly hipster.

Jonny Hamachi said...

Falconry, yes.

S.H., thanks.

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