Glorious Feathers

You will remember that leaping stream 
where sweet aromas rose and trembled, 
and sometimes a bird, wearing water 
and slowness, its winter feathers.

Pablo Neruda
Love Sonnet IV (excerpt)
100 Love Sonnets

Detail - Egret wing feathers.

Detail – Egret wing feathers.

Please click here to see more of the Egret.

Translucent. Gossamer. Delicate.

I have held an egret feather in my hands, and marveled at it’s near transparency. Looking at the photo above, the individual feathers are all so translucent that you can see how the layers of a wing are built, feather upon feather.

In my post Once You Have Tasted Flight, the onion-skin thinness of an egret’s wing feathers stands out more starkly: the outline of the bird’s wing bones shines through. (Please click here if you missed that photo.)

The feathers are nearly-transparent and yet an egret can fly 25 mph.

Translucent, gossamer, and delicate – yes.

But not at all weak.


Thanks to Ailsa for the Weekly Travel Theme: Delicate.

Thanks once more to Ese for her Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Allure. What has more allure than a silken, white feather?

Also, thanks to the kind folks at NaBloPoMo National Blog Posting Month this November.

Thanks again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.

(This took place August 20, 2013)

© 2013 Babsje. (

Posted on November 2, 2013, in ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, Birds, daily prompt, Great Blue Heron, Michelle's Weekly Pet Challenge, NaBloPoMo, Nature Photography, Photography, postaday, Weekly Travel Themes, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Hard for me to add anything, Babs, but I love the fine detail you got in those feathers. And as you and I both know, it is no small feat to get the exposure right when photographing those beautiful white creatures. You nailed that one.

    • Hi Bob, thanks again for your kind compliment, I’m glad you like this one. Our egret has migrated by now, so maybe your area has an influx!

      • We have a few here in San Angelo. Last week, near Houston, we saw many of them. I love sharing this stuff with you.

        • Hi Bob, thanks for the kind words – I love sharin this, too. I can’t figure out our migration this year – there were tons of small birds about the other day, but they should be south by now. It must be the change in the weather pattern this year.

          • Babs, I agree something is odd this year. This time last year Ann and I would go out for a couple of hours and spot 30-35 birds. Yesterday we saw 15. I guess they are somewhere between your area and ours.

  2. Beautiful pic and beautiful quote…Absolutely delicate and elegant!!!

    • I’m so glad you like it, many thanks for your kind comment! BTW, the book of Pablo Neruda poetry is printed with both Spanish and English versions of each poem, so you might want to check it out if you enjoy his poetry.

      • I will….If I like a poem I do not dare to do the translation,…I always try to find a good English versión! Have a nice weekend!!! (here is raining a lot! 🙂 )

        • Thanks! When I got that book of poems, I wasn’t aware that it also included the Spanish. Since he wrote in Spanish, I would imagine those versions are more “true” to his intention than the English translations? I hope your rain eases up soon and that you have a lovely weekend.

  3. Those feathers are gorgeous!

  4. That photo is so beautiful…almost surreal! What a capture – elegance, innocence…powerful. And PN sonnet is a pearl itself.

  5. Beautiful photo and beautiful lyrics. It took my mind into a place of peace for a moment, away from all the hustle and bustle.

  6. So delicate and very beautiful, Babsje, just like the enchanting sonnet. 🙂

  7. Absolutely beautiful-what an amazing creature the egret is-a true work of art-

  8. Thats epic shot, well done

  1. Pingback: Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge; Round up and start of new week. | Hope* the happy hugger

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