Local Heart, Global Soul

May 24, 2014

Nothing Escapes These Piercingly Sharp Eyes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the summer of 2012  I was visiting La Roche-en-Ardenne and came up to the castle on the hill whilst Himself, the kids and our friend and his daughter went canoeing on the river.

It was far harder work than I imagined with the crutches and so a few decent pauses to stop and rest as I made my way around were most welcome.

After the falconry display the birds were taken to various places to rest, eat and enjoy some shade out of the hot sun but can also come out and sun themselves if they want to.

In one of those places I was able to get close up to one of the falcons and sit very quietly close by taking photographs.

This series of  photographs is therefore a study of this magnificent creature, it’s structure and strength is beautiful to look at, it’s character is evident in it’s strong look and it’s not at all nervous of me sitting close by (although I did of course take care to sit very still and not startle or upset it). It’s a privileged to be able to observe the falcon at such close range: the bird is alert to every movement in the sky around us, nothing escapes these sharp eyes. This is a triangular shaped shade for the falcon, it’s clear that it’s not an overnight accommodation  for the bird but rather just a quiet day resting spot  a little out of the way of the main tourist walkway. Both the bird and I sit quietly enjoying the sun and  the quiet of each other’s company.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.belgiumtheplaceto.be/castles_chateaux_la_roche_en_ardenne.php

 

May 22, 2014

An Exhibition That Includes An Impressive Fly Past…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve walked up the hill to the castle on the hill in the centre of La Roche-en-Ardenne in Belgium.

It’s the summer of 2012 and I’m lucky to be visiting whilst there is a medieval festival going on: and as part of the festival there is a falconry demonstration which I have just made it onside in time to watch.

The falconer has funny stories, engages with the public and clearly loves working with the owls, falcons, and even some vultures.

Vultures are cleaner birds than we imagined and all of the birds show intelligence and amazing skill in the air as they duck, dive and return to the falconer.

The birds are beautiful, and everyone enjoys the show. There is plenty of laughter and fun and the show almost ended too soon.

The day is sunny and beautiful and it’s wonderful to sit and take photographs of these beautiful creatures  and to watch the show.  It certainly makes all the time and effort  it took me to get up here well worth while. It’s also a good rest as I sit for a while…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 26, 2013

The Magic Of A Most Bewitching Bird…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post we are at the 2012 Medieval Festival in Vianden Castle in north eastern Luxembourg.

We’ve been watching a wonderful display with medieval costumed dancers, and now I find my lens drawn to some owls and falcons in a display one level below the dancer’s gallery.

There was no bird show going on at that moment so the birds were resting. Some of them preferred the shade of their little tents, the others looked content in the sun.

Originally I was going to include a photo of one of each bird, but one of the owls fascinated me and I was amazed at how un-birdlike it was, how effortlessly it turned it’s head in all directions, how every little movement was noticed by it’s sharp eyes, how beautiful the arrangement of the feathers was, the different directions the feathers went in: yet all in harmony.It’s a stubby looking bird that likes like it could never be aerodynamic and yet it manages everything with a grace that has you mesmerised at it’s beauty. At one point it’s eyes half closed and I thought it was about to sleep but the minute it caught a random movement it was all action and the intense stare was back, focused and concentrated. This photo series attempts to capture the magic of this amazing  and most bewitching bird.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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