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.

Because the state of our planet is the most pressing issue of our time, link up and learn about the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.


  1. Hello,
    Wonderful photos of the Pelican, they are one of my favorite birds. The butterfly image is beautiful. Great captures of London. I enjoyed this post, the trip reminded me of my London trip back in 1985. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

  2. What an amazing pelican and great photos ~ Lovely London photos too ~ Xo

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Pelicans have characters. Glad you finally saw one in person.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  4. Hello :=)

    The most photographed Pelican in London was a treat to see. I am pleased he is not restricted in any way. Interesting London monuments, and that beautiful and intricate Asian container with bird legs caught my attention. I once visited the British museum, but could not see everything, however I did see a palace guard astride his beautiful horse. Great collection of photographs.
    All the best.

  5. Characters in all forms are fascinating!

  6. I love your eye for things and your sense of humor.

  7. These photos are fantastic as a journal. Great city street shoots!

  8. I am not a fan of cities, any city, no matter how beautiful it is alleged to be, but I have to say that in London I was able to find lots of parks, some semi-natural, and was able to escape the noise, dirt and claustrophobic crowds at least somewhat. Curiously, because I had binoculars perhaps, I was accosted by a policeman who wanted to know what I was doing. I never saw the same treatment inflicted on people with cameras.

  9. What fantastic clouds views from the plane! All the things both animate and inanimate captured by you are so attractive. .And, interesting, too, as I wonder why ancient Egyptians worshipped scarab. There are so many scarab, or dung beetles, for deer droppings in Nara Park.

    1. Thank you, stardust. From what I understand early Egyptians rightly noted newborn scarabs hatch from buried dung balls as if by self-creation. This "sacred" aspect, along with the fashioning and rolling of dung much larger than the bug, itself, added to the mythology. In an imaginative leap, the creature appeared to be immortal, as if rolling the sun across the sky, burying it at sunset, then digging it up again at dawn to be reborn day after day.

  10. Looks like you had a beautiful time in London, and saw many wonderous things.

  11. Love the Pelican, of course :) He seems to enjoy himself, playing to the camera, almost appearing to dance in one of the shots :) He/she made me smile... And love that iconic figure of the palace guard - like a scene from a different era. I still like stories of King Arthur and the knights of the round table :) Your photos really capture a blending of the old and new...

  12. ...a nice collection of beauty, both natural and manmade.

  13. How wonderful! I always enjoy your posts but because of your trip to London I especially enjoyed this one. Your photos are so much fun to see and I loved them all. I was there in 2015 and there is a photo of the pelicans in that post. If you would like to take a look, the address is below:

    I liked Hold Onto The Light at the end, more important than ever now.

    Great post, thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks for providing your link to the pelicans and more, Denise. We traveled the same places but at different times. It was a joy to see. :))

  14. Hello,
    Stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. I do love the pelicans.
    Take care, have a great new week!


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