I’ve had this feather in the main picture a while now. I don’t know what bird it came from, I found it in the garden and it’s only a little feather, perhaps about half an inch long, but I am fascinated by it.
The fact that it’s striped in tabby cat colours – delicate cream and brown – first caught my attention, but then I stopped to look again and marvel at the detail involved in this tiny thing.
Each fibre of feather is closely joined to its neighbour by a little hook and eye system, I think they’re actually called barbules and hooklets, something like that. Then the downy fluff at the base, soft and grey, designed to be both light and warm, all attached to the quill, a perfectly Engineered construction both light and hollow to help reduce weight in flight.
Feathers are supposed to symbolise spiritual ascension… but I just liked it, so I’ll probably keep it a while longer.
Alex and I went into Nottingham last week, and to be honest, I thought I’d had a funny turn – across the Market Square I saw a large orange fox. I was amazed by it – there was an elephant too, a beautiful construction of gears and cogs, covered with organza material.
The fox could turn its head and blink, while the elephant could flap its ears and raise its trunk. They were part of the Nottingham Festival of Puppetry that was taking place that week. I don’t really care for puppets but I was very taken with the ingenuity of these animals.
From something so tiny to something quite large – it’s said the Devil is in the detail but I prefer to think it’s Someone Else…