Whilst out and about in the woolly wilds of Western England last weekend, I came across this rather impressive fallen tree, which looks like a dragon:
I think you'll agree, it really does have a reptilianesque likeness about it.
It would seem that the human brain is insitnctively programmed to recognise patterns, which is why we like stuff shaped like animals. Apparently, human faces are the commonest type of
arrangement we see, which explains reports of the virgin Mary in a tortilla, Princess Diana in every bloody issue of the Daily Mail and, more commonly, the Man in the Moon:
So I wasn't particularly surprised to find that I recognised a lizard in a log which was locally renowned for looking like a lizard, even though it was a log. Not all of them are so easy though, and depend on angle and shadow, like Kennedy's profile in this rocky outcrop.
The following image is a good example. It is said that, at certain angles and in a certain light, you can make out the eerie visage of an owl:
And here, on a hillside, natural processes of wind, rain and windswept grass have combined to form the outline of a donkey:
Actually, the last one was at a Donkey Sanctuary, so it may be more the result of a bloke with a white-line painter and too much time on his hands than the mysterious conjunctions of erosion and subconscious pattern-recognition.
Staying on the subject of donkey charities, it was good way to spend a couple of hours, and apparently they never turn a donkey away. I have a similar philosophy, only involving cream eggs and Badger's beer.
It must be difficult running a charity, and I expect you have to choose your market well. Donkey's tug at the heartstrings of the British a little more than, off the top of my head, they would to someone from Spain. It'd be like setting up a frog-protection society in Paris. Or Crufts in Korea. Even the word "donkeys" appeals to us, for some reason. Rhymes wth wonkey.
Even when it's got its target audience sorted, a charity must constantly have to think of ways to get dosh out of the punters. I have to say though, I have rarely come across a more sure-fire way of getting a donation out of you than having, on display, a recuperating donkey with all holes drilled in his head:
Apparently, it's the result of some necessary surgery and the critter isn't in any pain. There was a sign telling as much while I looked on in horrified fascination, immediately reserving ten of my moderately-effort-earned English pounds for their coffers.
At least they said it was necessary, and I presume it wasn't some cold, capitalist money-making venture for some fat-cat donkey magnate sat in a mahogany office laughing manically as coins and notes flowed through suction tubes directly to his personal account in Switzerland. Am I being naive? Maybe they weren't real holes, just expertly applied make up. Should I have poked a finger in to check or is that frowned upon? There's very little literature available on the etiquette involved when it comes to donkey-head holes. Either way, they couldn't have been surer of getting money out of me had they hired a one-armed baby orangutan holding out a cancer-riddled kitten.
A lot of the money was to help fund a state-of-the-cart veterinary centre, conveniently right next to Holey Ass's paddock.
Anyway, it was a good place. It's in Sidmouth, and I advise you to go. If you can't make it physically, then go there virtually via the magic of DONKEYCAM!
Look at 'em.