Monday, 18 March 2013

The feather bouquet

(Or how a child can see the pretty in everything).

We're waiting for rain.  The resilient 'Smooth cat's ear' weed provide the only flowers to be found in bloom.
Our chooks are going through their annual moult and the orchard is dotted with white feathers caught in the dry grasses and dead leaves.  The leghorn rooster is losing his magnificent long tail feathers, one by one. 

Barry Lyndon crowing.  He has already lost a few of his tail feathers.
These feathers normally sail like grand pennants in the breeze as he strikes a pose to crow, but now can be found at the bottom of the chook shed near the water bucket, trampled and dirty.  There is a time at the end of the moult when he loses all his long tail feathers.  At the risk of personifying an animal, I do believe that he is quite embarrassed about the entire moulting process.

The other day Sylvie and I took a long twilight stroll and photographed all the types of feathers, looking at each one and noticing all the differences, some are long and straight and some are soft and fluffy, and others are very fine, almost transparent and gossamer thin.

Just a few of the feathers that can be found scattered about the orchard. 
When I finished photographing the rooster, Sylvie said, “Turn around Mummy, I have a surprise for you” and she presented me with a feather bouquet, complete with the florets of the only plant in flower at the moment, the Smooth Cat’s Ear.  It was a lovely gesture made from the heart and testament to a child’s natural instinct to see beauty in all they encounter, including moulted feathers and common weeds.

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