our fine feathered friends

 On any given day, up to four hundred billion individual birds may be found flying, soaring, swimming, hopping, or otherwise flitting about the earth. That’s more than fifty birds for every human being, one thousand birds per dog, and at least a half-million birds for every living elephant. … Each of those birds maintains an intricate coat of feathers-from roughly one thousand on a Ruby-throated Hum­mingbird to more than twenty-five thousand for a Tundra Swan.  …

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle

by Thor Hanson
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weather vane takes flight

live weather vane!

weather vane turns!

fly! fly!

The earliest recorded weather vane honored the Greek god Triton, and adorned the Tower of the Winds in Athens which was built by the astronomer Andronicus in 48 B.C. The figure, which is believed to have been 4 to 8 feet long, had the head and torso of a man and the tail of a fish. To the ancients, the winds had divine powers. In Greece and pre-Christian Rome, weather vanes depicting the gods Boreas, Aeolus, Hermes and Mercury decorated the villas of wealthy landowners.

In the ninth century A.D., the pope reportedly decreed that every church in Europe should show a cock on its dome or steeple, as a reminder of Jesus’ prophecy that the cock would not crow the morning after the Last Supper, until the disciple Peter had denounced Him three times (Luke 22:34). Because of this story, “weather cocks” have topped church steeples for centuries, both in Europe and in America. The 11th century Bayeux Tapestry even includes a scene of a craftsman attaching a rooster vane to the spire of the Westminster Abbey.

– source: Denninger Online

flying solo

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