The parliament is in place, or if you prefer, the parliament is in session (which would not be possible to say had we created a charm of hummingbirds instead... I don't think hummers are all that keen on dabbling in treetop politics, they are far too busy clambering over flowerheads... though, not being a twitcher, I could be wrong).
So should you find yourself strolling down or up Flinders Lane in the city, pause at the Craft Victoria window and wave to our happy little family of owls (and of course, if you can't resist the odd 'hoot', that's okay too...). As promised, here are a few photos snapped whilst installing the wise, winged & beaked ones in the early afternoon, with more to follow on flickr & elsewhere shortly.
114 owls have taken up their place amidst both the manmade trees and downstairs at counter. A further few have flown the long distance to WA (to Distracted) and our store (including one of my favourite nocturnal sweets, April wearing a back panel constructed from the sleeve of a kimono. Meet April here.). The bookshelves around the house, where previously they had sat side by side, row by row, are sadly now bare save for the sprinkle of dust and clumps of daily tizz. Perhaps I'll have to fill their recently vacated spots with a kissy kissy stuffed companion.
Climbing up the ladder to reach the window the trees rooted themselves in place and the owls followed suit. A few took a tumble, though other than this, all went to plan.
And finally the owl pinnie that started it all, it seems only fair that you should be introduced. A lime green misfit of an owl... a working pincushion prototype with floppy ears tufts, mismatched button eyes and a face sewn once stuffed (... what were we thinking?). Charming in his own special way. This one, and all those which followed, were originally modelled on my grandmother's owl pincushion made from pieces of coloured felt and with a chest decorated in all the appropriate Girl Guide pins and badges which made mobility a chore for the little guy... all that heavy metal in his chest.
Random owl facts for your Tuesday evening:
Buffy Fish-Owl (S.E.Asia from Burma & Borneo to Java), with their bare legs for plucking fish from the water, lack the silent flight of other owls, whose feathers have a fine surface layer of downy strands to muffle the sound of wing flapping... especially handy when in pursuit of a tasty vole.
The Snowy Owl (breeds in N.North America, Greenland and N.Eurasia... and migrates beyond southern limits of this range in years of food shortage), feed on lemmings, hares, gulls and ducks. They hunt by day as well as night.
The Southern Boobook owl (Timor, S, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand) is mobbed by songbirds if found by day. Hear one here (via Parks & Wildlife Tasmania).
The Barred Owl (North America, mostly east of the Rockies, and the Central Plateau of Mexico to Veracruz and Oaxaca) has asymmetrical ear openings on either side of its head. One opening is higher than the other to enable pinpoint accuracy when hunting. Take a listen here.
(Continue finding more owl facts via Birds of the World, Colin Harrison & Alan Greensmith, Dorling Kindersley Limited.)