Sunday, 13 July 2008

Wildness tamed

Off to Roadford Wood Fair yesterday. It's a small scale affair, and a couple of hours gets you round all the stalls and displays and gives you time to chat at length with the folks selling wood-fired boilers and promoting sustainable domestic energy. You feel worthy and improved just by being there.
I love the locally handmade wicker baskets, the knives made in a charcoal fire, the old but usable tools, the trugs, the yurts, the scent of bombay potatoes, falafel and venison burgers. But best of all are the stands with the owls and the birds of prey. The golden eagle stretches out his leg, doing a fair imitation of the hokey cokey. The kestrel (above) preens and poses. The barn owl sits on the shoulder of its handler, clearly digging it claws through the man's fleece and causing him to wince - why doesn't he invest in leather epaulettes? But best of all is the little owl. I can't remember seeing one in the flesh before. Apparently they like living in orchards. I can only hope a pair might come and check ours out.


mountainear said...

We have a little owl - in as much as anyone can lay claim to a wild thing. He/she/they live in a hole in tree across the lane - they've been quiet for a while but in the spring we hear them call - in the day time.

We put a box up, but they were not to be fooled and preferred a hole in an old Horse Chestnut.

Lindsay said...

We see a barn owl at dusk swooping over the field behind us - a lovely sight. We can hear little owls and once, for a fleeting moment, one landed on my weather recording instrument box near the house.

KAZ said...

How do they keep them there Mopsa - is it just the grub or are they chained in some way?

Hope you get your little owl. I saw a Marsh Harrier this morning.

paula said...

... did you go into the magic hut (I've now completely forgotten the name - camera obscura?) And did you find the extraordinary finger-balancing dragon fly? Surprises to show.

Mopsa said...

M'ear - I am GREEN with envy.

Lindsay, I don't know what little owls sound like - must google - but hear barn and tawny owls most nights.

Kaz, there is a wee strap from one leg onto the perch, giving them freedom to move but not fly away. As much as I love to see them up close, birds should be free, I feel.

Paula - I forgot! I did go in when the show was at Roadford 2 years back tho - fascinating.

Winchester whisperer said...

Bombay potatoes and falafel...the delicacies of Devon

Mopsa said...

WW - all very Totnes, even though we weren't in the South Hams - it made me chortle a great deal.