Blessings #200 – The Buzzard Feather

We’ve just returned for a week’s holiday near Lorton in the English Lake District

One of the things I’m currently trying to do is to climb all of the Wainwright peaks so on Tuesday I set off to tick-off a set of peaks stretching from Crummock Water to Derwentwater.

Nearing the end of this walk I was meandering through a field when a Buzzard squawked and launched into the air. It made me jump.

This spectacular bird of prey left behind one of it’s magnificent feathers, a wing feather I think.

Feathers are amazing feats of engineering. They are strong and yet very light, supporting a bird to amazing heights and magnificent speeds. They are only connected to the body of the bird with a narrow quill. The barbs and barbules that make up the vanes are intricately detailed tiny pieces of keratin woven together to be highly resistant to the air.

As the feathers layer together with the other feathers on the wing they form the perfect shape for flying.

The structure of a feather is a marvel, but feathers aren’t just functional, they are decorative too. The feather that I picked up was a piece of art in its own right with patterns of rich browns.

Alongside the other feathers on the bird each one forms part of a pattern that marks out each bird as a member of its species.

God is a God of detail too:

“What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries. (?Luke? ?12?:?6-7? MSG)

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