Saturday, 23 October 2010

Stuffed !

Museums tend not to send expeditions over to Africa any more to bag a few exhibits and I remember from walking around the taxidermy exhibitions in the Chamber Street museum (which is currently closed for a lengthy refit - the stuffed animal section anyway) that most of the exhibits date from the very beginning of the 20th century and before. Kirkcudbright museum has a substantial collection of Taxidermy which I imagine are the same pieces that can be seen in the old picture of the museum I posted on Monday. Perhaps you can see the very butterfly that fluttered past your Granny as a child or the mole that caused your great great grandfather a deal of consternation about his perfect lawn. I like to think these animals were found expired from extreme old age but cannot escape the fact that the curator of the day may have enjoyed nothing more on his Sunday off than going out bagging a few bullfinches with his reliable blunderbuss. Anyway, on with the pictures.

A rather wily looking kingfisher

A bullfinch - bagged or otherwise.

A dipper

A golden eagle - we don't have these down our way - perhaps they did in Victorian times or perhaps they just did a straight swap with a highlander for a bag of sheep.

A herd of ducklings

A 15 and a half pound sea trout caught by M.M.Johnson in 1934

The person who caught this sea horse didn't seem to want to own up to it

Ugly critters

Some peacock butterflies.

A huge beastie

Egg collecting has been illegal for some time and possessing an egg collection is illegal even if it was collected before the law was brought in to protect them. Museums have benefited by this and many surrendered collections are now on public display.

A somewhat faded red squirrel - indeed reflecting the precarious situation of our own native species from the invasion of the grey squirrel.

An finally a very old and dusty look mole.


Curiosity Anne said...

Poor things, life immortally preserved just as the Egyptians would have favoured.
I do not mind seeing them in pictures but oh dear, the smell of them is unmistakable.
Capturing them on film or pixel is a much better pastime. And I daresay the dna will be on show one day in the future instead of the actual being.

Rocket Man said...

While on vacation back home this summer we happened upon a small collection of stuffed animals in a state park information center. Sadly they were rater ratty looking and caked in years of dust. I agree with Anne that the best way to preserve these creatures is on film or digital media.

cieldequimper said...

What a collection. Isn't that ugly thing a conger eel?

Sandy's witterings said...

You're right I think - it's a conger. Big things with teeth are a good reason for not going into the sea any higher than your knees.

You're right too Anne and Chip, modern technology has far better ways of capturing animals, but it does rather post date the time these animals came a cropper too. I'm afraid it's going to take more than a good vet to get them back on their feet/fins/wings again.

the paranoid toothbrush said...

awwww...i'd forgotten about the mole that needed a hoover in kirkcudbright's miniature louvre :)

Sandy's witterings said...

Hello Miss paranoid toothbrush, After a wee rake about I found the moley words wot you wrote :-

Twas in a glassy,dusty case in Kirkcudbright's miniature Louvre
that I spied the tiny,sorry face of the mole that needed a Hoover.
"A mole that needs a Hoover"? I hear you pondering...
but read this ode (not written in code) and cease thy wondering.
A pitiful sight...It's once sleek coat would have glistened under the moon....
It would have tunnelled and delved in a loamy home and danced to a wormful tune.
Crunching on beetles and gorging on roots and snoozing away afternoons.
And now Mr Mole...Just look at you...
Dried out and stuffed in a curious zoo...
Will i take you away back into the day and bathe you gently in dew...?
Put moisture and life back into your skin,refreshing your toothy,moley grin...
Or will I just sigh and leave feeling meaner
for not running over you with a vacuum cleaner?????