Real & Imaginary Creatures Of London

I was on cloud nine meeting a pelican for the first time in person.
I had seen them only in film and photos or sometimes I imagined seeing them in the clouds. Although spotted in parts of B.C., pelicans are not usually seen where I am along the coast or, for that matter, in Britain. Perhaps the fellow (below) comes from a line gifted by a Russian Ambassador to St. James's Park in the 60's. This particular one was discovered by itself at a local garden and, in 1996, the park took it under its wing.
It was quite a character (pictured above and below) with personality plus. No fence could contain what likely is one the most photographed birds in St. James Park.
Passersby, with groceries in hand, could not resist stopping to take several photos.
The bird seemed to preen and understand full-well its special status.
Swans lazily floated under the picturesque Hammersmith Bridge, one of 35 bridges in London over the river Thames. Soft blue cloud-filled sky hues bounced on the water.
Skies seemed lighter in texture and tone than at home. I wondered if the Tube so heavily used in London suppressed vehicle traffic pollution somewhat.
Below, a stoic palace guard sat atop his well behaved and meticulously groomed horse.
Nearby, a horse of a very different sort was displayed at the Buckingham Palace gates.
The unicorn (above) was likely chosen by Scotland (thus far remaining part of the United Kingdom) as its official national animal due to its mythical whimsical charms, super-strength and powers. The whimsical artifact (below) at the British Museum was a minuscule part of a vast Asia collection. The ornate container had birds for "legs".
The incredibly well preserved diorite statue (below) is thought to be from 4th century BC. It possibly represents Khepri which in ancient Egyptian mythology is the god of the morning sun transformed into a scarab beetle each dawn to be reborn at daybreak.
It was in the morning sun that I spied a large lion at Highgate Cemetery having a nap.
One hoped the person beneath this grand monument was also peacefully sleeping.
For the living in London there were overwhelming amounts of things to do and see. I could have spent more time in this vibrant rain-washed city. But the butterfly painting at the flat where I stayed saw me flutter away ... perhaps to return another day. 

Explore more at Skywatch Friday and Saturday's Critters. You can also check out my other sites at: Postcards from Penelope Puddle and Musings of A Puddlist In B.C.

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