Snowy Magic at Red River Creek

It was a warm June morning and I was out early at Red River Creek.

In search of baby Black Ducks.

Passing by our familiar childhood herring run, something caught my eye.

Through the marsh reeds and trees I spotted a Snowy Egret, perched on a low branch close to the river.

I knew that Snowies roosted at night, but this was the first time I’d seen one just rolling out of its lofty bed among the treetops.

Best of all, the angle of the morning sun seemed to be in my favor, giving me a bit of time to watch undetected.

It got even better when the Snowy flew to a second perch, directly over the creek.

Oh yes, a much better spot to look for something moving in the shallow water below!

And the perfect chance for me to reposition, to get deeper into the shadows to observe.

Just then, the Snowy began to preen.

Such a methodical process it was; no doubt a morning ritual.

And through my lens I could see tiny white feathers, freshly pulled, being released from the Snowy’s bill….

Lifted by a whisper of a sea breeze…

And then floated away without a sound, out over the marsh and out of sight.

Another breeze came up and had some more fun, setting the Snowy’s crown feathers all aglow as he peered intently into the watery shadows of a nearby creek.

What a sight he was, this stunningly beautiful bird.

Doing what Snowies probably do every morning – taking a bath, getting ready for some breakfast.

Yet this morning, this Snowy gave me such a gift.

One I’ll never forget.

Years ago I made the decision as a milliner to design silk organza “feathers” to trim my hats with, in place of the real ones.

Leaving those soft, glorious feathers right where they belong.

On the breeze.

And with the birds.   ❤

Related post, Hats and Horses blog, “For the Birds”

Red-tailed Hawk with Feather Fan

I’m not sure if as a couture milliner it’s my love of detail…

Or perhaps simply my fascination with the way light and shadow can bring magic to a subject at any given moment in our natural world.

But last evening while I was out for a walk, something in the distance caught my eye.

Just to my left, backlit by the setting sun, a stunning Red-tailed Hawk perched high atop a deserted telephone pole.

A beautiful sight to see, anytime.

But there was something very different about one of the hawk’s feathers, and the way the light was catching it, that made me want to look closer.

A single feather on the hawk’s folded wing appeared to be askew, twisted in a direction that didn’t fit with all the others.

Just then the hawk turned, as hawks often do, to check out something behind it that had caught its attention.

And that’s when this image happened.

The hawk’s feather, the angle of his head and the way the light was catching it made it look almost like the hawk had drawn a feather fan across its face!

Smiling at the moment, I walked past the hawk and spotted another hawk feather, this one lying on a lawn nearby.

Had there been a skirmish between the hawk and a crow, that maybe loosened a feather or two?

Or was this simply a feather the hawk had preened, that was ready to fall?

I’ll never know.

What I do know is, this was a special moment.

One that I am so glad, for whatever the reason, had caught my eye.  ❤