February 17th, 2016
The letter is F for the Falcon
The Peregrine, one of thirty-seven species of raptors in the genus FALCO, widely distributed on all continents except Antarctica.
A few things you might not have known about the Falcon.....
Their thin, tapered wings enable them to fly at high speed and change direction rapidly.
and to hover in the air...
The Peregrine falcon has been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour,
making them the fastest moving creatures on earth.
They are the largest genus in the Falconinae subfamily of Falconidae.
They kill with their beaks, using a 'tooth' on the side of the beaks.
A falcon has exceptional powers of vision, much to the mouse's dismay...
The fossil record of the Falcon indicates that they are from the late
Miocene, less than ten million years ago,
which is evidently fairly recent as bird species go....
There are three (or four) groups of Falcons -
the Peregrines, the Hobbies, dark in colour
and feeding mainly on small birds.
Sometimes included are the hawk-falcons,
and then there are the Kestrels
known as the Windhover in the United Kingdom.
I am quite sure I have posted Hopkin's poem 'The Windhover' before....
It has been a large part of my life for a long time, - I found our farm
'windhover' country, and called my weaving adventure
At first it was the beauty of the poem, the 'sprung rhythm',
the blending of adjectives, verbs and subjects in order to echo his theme
of smooth merging and the bird's perfect immersion in the air'.
As the years have passed I have become more aware and have read 'that a
sensuous experience or description leads to a set of moral reflections'
in that the writer is drawing inspiration from the beauty
of the hovering bird in comparison with man's striving
Here it is once more!
I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom
of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing.
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on as bow-bend; the hurt and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,-the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and the blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, fall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
The Windhover Gerard Manly Hopkins
For more F tales click here for ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and any flighty helpers
who might be flitting around helping them....
Here is a painting of The Windhover,
gashing Gold Vermillion