Feathers

We’re all connected, like the components of a feather.  Have you ever wondered about the parts of a feather?  If so, you’re an inquisitive person.  I’ve wondered.  But it took me sixty years to ask the question, at the right time, with the right resources available to answer the correct question.

I asked the right question, finally, and was stunned by the complexity of the answer. Feathers comprise an array of “parts” that, taken collectively address the majority of the questions I raised concerning feathers.

Feathers consist of barbules, barbs, hooklets, rachis, afterfeather, downy barbs, and calamus (the hollow base).  And there are many types of feathers. There are tail feathers, flight feathers, semiplumes, filoplumes, bristles, and downy feathers.  Feathers, like fingernails and hair, are made of keratin.  So, if my fingernails and hair are made from the same “stuff” as feathers, why can’t I fly?

The answer to that question may be more than I can handle, emotionally.

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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