The start of a new month and time to display my Last on Card photos for Brian’s challenge.

Let’s start with the Moto g50. This shot was taken for one of my Nuts & Bolts posts to illustrate my method of recording which parts on an engine need replacing with new…

Last on Card JUL22_g50

…Apart from a change of name for this post, you can’t tell the difference as all I did for the original post was resize for web!

Now the Canon EOS5d mkIII…

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…Taken at our pre-season friendly against Coggeshall Town on 16th July – the game ended in a 1-1 draw. It was my last match for a while. On the 19th I deemed it too hot to attend – the temperature reached 40.3C that afternoon, which is outside the camera’s official operating window (as well as mine)! Then on Thursday 21st I went down with what turned out to be covid. Now I’m hoping to be fit to do the Team Photos on August 11th🤞🏻

To finish, here’s a shot taken with the Fuji X-Pro2…

Last on Card JUL22_XPro2

…The Pigeons living it large in our bird bath!

As usual just a resize for the web and no other changes.

There are no live dinosaurs – apart from some older persons like me – wandering around Crystal Palace Park. When the park was designed in 1851, two islands were created in the lake at the southern end. On these islands some sculptures of creatures from the Secondary and Tertiary periods were to be displayed for the amazement of visitors. 33 such creatures were crafted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. Many of those sculptures survive to this day.

Not all the creatures were Dinosaurs – the Tertiary period was the age of the Mammals and there are some Irish Elk to be found…

Beasts of Crystal Palace Park_01

However, we’re here to see the Dinosaurs on the Secondary Period island – Here are a pair of Iguanodon…

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A Labyrinthodon…

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…with some tasty morsels in the background😂

There’s Ichthyosaurus hiding in the weeds…

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…along with a pair of Teleosauri…

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…I’m not convinced that those are entirely extinct 😟

Then there’s a Plesiosaur…

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…suffering the unwelcome attentions of some saurian descendants😂

And finally, the Megalosaurus…

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Just as the Dinosaurs were of a particular period in the Earth’s history, these models belong to a period in the history of Palaeontology. First displayed in 1854, they excited an interest in fossil hunting and scientific understanding. Just 40 years later they were a laughing stock among serious palaeontologists with species such as the Megalosaurus now known to have been bipedal. Today’s visitors enjoy those that are left for what they are – fascinating sculptures of strange beasts. Classed as Grade II listed buildings in 1973 and upgraded to Grade I in 2007, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins’ animals have been repaired and restored over recent years and look to be safe for future generations to enjoy.

The Passenger Pigeon succumbed to hunting and the wanton destruction of its natural environment by the white settlers of North America. It was not the first and certainly won’t be the last extinction at our hands. How important are Pigeons and do we care??? Not very important if you listen to Ken Livingston, who christened London’s Feral Pigeons ‘Rats with Wings’. But surveys by the RSPB suggest that the average city dweller finds the companionship of wild birds important for their wellbeing.

Rattus Pigineous
Rattus Pigineous
Of course, the truth behind London’s Feral Pigeons is, as usual, exploitation by humans. They are descendents of Rock Doves (still treated as one and the same species by ornithologists) gathered from the cliffs of Northern England (where Rock Doves still live in natural colonies) and domesticated to provide food for the inns and fine houses of London back in the middle ages. The average populace lost the taste for Pigeon Pie a long time ago and the ‘dove cots’ where the birds were kept long since disappeared, leaving a Pigeon population that lives off our detritus – hence ‘Rats with Wings’.

Pigeons are not the sharpest beaks in the bird box… numbers die on the roads and rails every year as their greed makes them linger a bit too long over a feeding opportunity. You won’t find Crows caught the same way – though they’ll happily pile in for fresh squashed Pigeon.

But a few individuals seem to be smarter than the rest. I was somewhat surprised to find a Pigeon on the platforms of Moorgate Station. Not the sub-surface platforms of the Metropolitan Railway but the deeper tube lines of the old Northern Line route from Finsbury Park! This is a land of artificial light and mice. There is no expectation that you would see birds down there. But most London travellers will tell you about the Pigeons that hop on the train at one station and hop off at the next – it’s much more efficient than flying and the ticket inspectors don’t trouble you! I assume that this enterprising Pigeon, having disposed of the bits from someone’s regurgitation, will head back to Finsbury Park, stopping off at Old Street and Essex Road on the way. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a Gooner and will be at the Emirates Stadium every time there’s a home game… A true Passenger Pigeon 😉