The Tao of Feathers

What is soft is strong.

Tao Te Ching

© 2013 Babsje. (Http://

Great blue heron feathers – B+W

There’s an exquisite intricacy to feathers, the sublime structures of individual feathers, as well as the interconnectedness of groups of feathers working together in harmony to make flight possible.

Individually, so soft.

Collectively, so strong.

What is soft is strong, indeed.


While the magnificent wingspan of the great blue heron is spectacular, the beauty of heron feathers isn’t limited to the powerful wings. In an earlier post, I shared photos of other less prominent but still stunning feathers, some arranged in intricate patterns. (Please click here to catch up if you missed those earlier photos.)


Thanks once more to Ese for her Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Intricate.

Thanks again to the kind folks at NaBloPoMo for the National Blog Posting Month challenge this November.

Thanks to Ailsa for the Weekly Travel Theme: Delicate.

Thanks also to Skinnywench for the Word a Week Challenge: Two.

Thanks to Cee also for her B&W Challenge: Close-ups, Macro.

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


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

(This took place May, 2013)

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2013 Babsje. (

Posted on November 5, 2013, in A Word A Week Photo Challenge, ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, Cee's Black & White Challenge, Ese's Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge, Great Blue Heron, Mindfulness, NaBloPoMo, Nature Photography, Photography, postaday, Weekly Travel Themes, Wild Bird Wednesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I never thought about it like this. Feathers are such delicate things, and yet birds can fly because of them. What is soft is strong, I like that. Beautiful post and great photos!

  2. Great photos. Beautiful feathers – for me, feather patterns are what make birds so fascinating.

    • I agree with you – their feather patterns are so fascinating. For humans, we grow a strand of hair straight out from the roots, and the most complicated it gets, perhaps, is that it develops a curl, but for birds? They get patterns, sometimes of different colors along the length of the feather, and different textures along the way, the downy fluff at the feather base, etc. It’s a source of wonder. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. I enjoyed your post. The more you study bird feathers, the more fascinating they become. They give the birds that power humans have always desired – absolute freedom of release from the earth.

  4. What a great post this is, a different slant on WBW….. post like this make you sit back and take notice, great stuff

    • I’m so glad you liked this post – when I wrote it I wondered if it would be too “outside-the-box” for WBW. Smiles. Many thanks for your kind compliment!

  5. Hi I enjoyed this post and I loved the first shot very much. The beautiful soft white feather shows up well against the black hard background. One person on his.her own can be weak but when people all pull together in the same direction, it is a strong force. Same with feathers.

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