MANY Links

Two evocative essays, here and here, about the “pigeon warriors” of the ancient town of Urfa in southern Turkey near Syria. I have seen this, but too little, and would love to go back– will post some of my photos taken there separately later. The writer gets the atmosphere perfectly, and is a Turkish American pigeon man who knows his subject. I want the black ones with the white wing bars and jewelry!

Sane takes on impossible issues: LabRat on immigration and Holly on lead shot and bans. Holly’s commenters are unusually sane and civil too. LabRat also lays down the science on closed breed registries.They diminish genetic diversity, which is NEVER a good thing– period.

Meanwhile Denmark may not just kill all dogs of “vicious” breeds– it may kill off all mongrels as well. Way to go. Has western civilization lost its collective mind?

Natalie Solent– who I have neglected– on the hunt ban, and Helen– back!– on bird keepers. Healthy evidence that a real England still exists, as some of my sighthound friends assure me.

Matt on this NYT article on coyote coursing:

“Even if the writer wasn’t ridiculously biased, the Times’ readers would have no way of understanding a man like Hardzog. A few quotes about God and what people ought to be doing—-and a few well placed references to chewing tobacco —and the game is over. The game is substantially over, anyway. There is nothing good and real that can’t be made scary.”

Quantum navigation and corpse- search vultures.

Mick Jagger claims that one of the things that kept him sane midst the chaos of making Exile on Main Street was falconry!

Tom Russell, who may be my favorite singer- songwriter (and who is almost a local, based in El Paso) writes about Hemingway and Chandler. Russell is also a real blogger, worth checking often.


  1. Thanks for the link – and for the pronouncement of my sanity (which I wondered about as I was writing that post).

    Did anyone notice how long it took for HSUS to pounce on the NYT coyote story and call for a ban? Couldn't have been more than three days.

  2. Jagger: "I had a friend who was a falconer who used to come and train his falcons in my garden. That was very restful."

    I wonder if that friend was falconer Steve Winwood?

  3. I think he said the falconer was French. I knew Winwood was a shooter (as is Eric Clapton, an owner of Best London guns and a well- known angler as well) but didn't know he was a falconer.

    And Charlie Watts rides to hounds!

  4. Holly: It would not surprise me if HSUS suggested the subject of the coyote coursing article TO the NYT, including the comparison with dog fighting. They are notorious for orchestrating busts of various kinds right before they introduce related legislation in a state.

  5. Sorry to disagree, but I'm skeptical that quantum particle entanglement is the reason birds can navigate south. Entanglement is a really cool theory that can be used to explain psychic phenomena, the collective unconscious, and other such things that connect disparate beings and events. In lab, electrons can be entangled at a maximum distance of 9 micrometers (if I recall my research correctly). I find it difficult to jump from that to being able to see magnetic fields, and think the explanation is to be found elsewhere…

  6. Steve, my late husband served with Turkish troops in Korea, and I have several very grainy snap shots of him with "pigeons wearing jewelry." I'm packing for a hoped-for move, but if I run across his Korea keepsakes, I'll scan and share.

  7. The Urfa essays and accompanying photographs are wonderful. It would be fascinating to spend some time in that coffee shop. I love the heads on the birds, particularly the dewlaps. But don't they worry each other's jewelry?

  8. You would think so Daniel, but many Turk and Arab breeds carry them– mostly Dewlap and Lebanon though which may just be gentle. I'll send you a few more Turkish breeds separately, not all from Urfa.

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