The Shard is such an iconic view on the London skyline that it becomes difficult to find a new way to capture the scene. Sometimes being in the wheelchair actually works to my advantage, allowing me to gain a different perspective on my surroundings, and I couldn’t resist the angles of the bridge and stairs that framed the building. It had been a dull grey day but London becomes a colourful city when the lights come on, whatever the weather!
My fascination with the pelicans in St James’s Park continues! I managed a short visit on Friday afternoon after an appointment at Guy’s Hospital. It’s so therapeutic after you’ve just had to hear more bad news. I was expecting it really, no big shocks but disappointing all the same. So from having to keep my own mouth wide open for the dental conservative consultant, I went to see a much more impressive wide mouth!
The bare skin on the lower mandible of the pelican is known as the gular pouch. There are other birds with gular skin but the pelican has the largest. The lower mandible expands to open the pouch allowing it to scoop it’s prey from the water. As the mandible contracts, water is expelled from the bill and the bird can then tilt its head to let the fish slide down the gullet. The gular pouch actually has a larger capacity than the pelicans stomach! You may have heard the rhyme by Dixon Merritt: “Oh, what a wondrous bird is the pelican! His bill holds more than his belican. He can take in his beak enough food for a week. But I’m darned if I know how the helican.” In fact, any surplass food is actually stored in the oesophagus!
I finally managed to get some camera and nature time last Friday with a visit to RHS Wisley Gardens. I had a delightful time having tea with the birds outside the Glasshouse cafe before heading into the Glasshouse itself to play with the orchids! On a very grey, damp and windy Monday, I thought you all might enjoy a bit of joyful colour.
Happy New Year everyone! A new ShareMondays tag and my favourite muse to start it all off. Happy Birthday to the wonderful Julia K, dressed as Brandon Lee (aka The Crow) for her Dead Famous party on Saturday night. She’s singing I’m In Love With A German Film Star with purity and passion, well, one of The Passions in fact, Clive Timperley on guitar! What a great party and I absolutely loved hearing two dear friends performing this beautiful and haunting song together. Thank you both!