DARWIN AND SWEETIE PIE
In the Virginia countryside, love ofanimals permeates the lifestyle. It goes beyond dogs and horses. Consider the late sportswoman Viola Townsend Winmill, whose zebra, Nderu, was imported in June 1930 from Kenya and trained to pull a cart. Mrs. Winmill even added a sunroom on the
back of a tenant house known as Whiffletree Manor at her 350-acre farm, Clovelly. The “Zebra Room” paid homage to Nderu’s distinctive black and white stripes in everything from lamps to rugs. Winmill sported a coordinating fur coat long before it became politically incorrect. Today, we have many more animal lovers – photographer Janet Hitchen rises every morning to feed her flock of two llamas, five goats, three donkeys, six cats, and six dogs (This does not include her horses). “Why so many?” a writer asks. “Just lucky, I guess,” Janet replies.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
When Barbara du Pont is not out riding horses, she roams the fields with her feathered friends. Barbara is a falconry enthusiast. Her falcon, Darwin, perches on the back seat of the car while Barbara runs errands. “My bird is a tierce [male] by a Gyrfalcon Falcon from the far north of Alaska, Canada and Antarctica and a Saker Falcon from the Arab peninsula and India,”
Barbara reports.” He was bred in captivity by
Robert F. Kennedy. Jr., a long time falconer
Darwin is “flown” on ducks, partridge,
and anything he fancies with feathers.
“Crows are hunted on horseback and are
fabulous sport for falcons in Scotland and
the Border District,” Barbara adds.
“He’s a very sociable hawk and enjoys