27.1.08

Yesterday ...





... I received the last gift for my birthday! We got to ... play with them big birds!

We set out somewhere around 11.30 for Berkel/Roderijs, or something. Immediately we got terribly stuck in traffic so that turned out to be rather tense but everything cleared up quite styllishly and we could get on our way! Yay! We arrived, got herded into a barn and a lovely lady started to give a short talk about the history of playing with birds and she showed us a couple of cute owls and a falcon (whom we all believed to be stuffed ... until it moved) ... then we got shown all the birds they have there . And they have loads. Owls, hawks, eagles, kukaboora, pelicans, vultures, storks ... loads. Loads and loads and loads. Afterwards we were shown how to play with a falcon and how to make a falconer's knot ...

And then we got to meet and greet the main stars of the show. Each one of the group (about 34 people) got the chance to have several birds delicately placed on his or her arm so you could have a chat and get to see them up close and personal and stuff. What it amounts to is that you get to appreciate the magnificence of a wonderful, powerful bird and it gets to pointedly ignore as hard as it can. Which is sort of funny. Grumpy owls that won't look at you and stuff like that. Highly amusing. We only got to seriously touch one bird (whose make and model we seem to have forgotten but which went by the ill-gotten name of Pino ...) because the otherwise we'd ruin the feathers of the birds. They wouldn't be water-tight otherwise. And that was hard, at times, because they look very sweet and soft and very nice to touch. Especially the barn owl (my favourite) which just looks like a tiny puff of cotton.

After we appreciated how very heavy these birds actually are we then got to see them in action ping-ponging them between two groups of people. We got to see them fly. They got bits of chicken. Seemed like a fair trade. After a while, though, the birds got a bit stuffed and were really unwilling to fly anymore. Which was funny in and of itself. You got almost see the birds calculating the benefits of another flight. And nearly decide to give it all up to go inside and get a cuppa.

To end the day the lady played with het falcon for a bit and with a vulture (who are really mean and vicious and we love them).

We ate at a Van Der Valk's. (That's only funny to dutch people). Next to the Avifauna.

So all in all ... we were happy!

Still am, actually ...



1 comment:

Daenerys said...

Wow! Woah! Dude! Five is jealous, I think. The mice are officially scared now. And scarred for the rest of their short lives. It does look very very cool :) Glad you had a good time!