I was summoned to the backyard to weigh in on landscaping options. The color red catches my eye. Its hue is in juxtaposition with the surrounding colors.


I examine the surrounding area. This is what I discover.


More feathers! I follow the path of feathers. Tracking like an Indian. Take a step, study the ground, move slightly to the left, then to the right. Continue forward until this!

IMG_3531And this!

IMG_3530 (1)Horrors! Slowly it is dawning on me that someone feasted in my yard. I’m puzzled because I remember this from the last snow fall.

IMG_3503The tracks indicate was a scuffle of some sort.

IMG_3502But there were very few feathers scattered on the gleaming snow. Is someone using our backyard for their own personal dining room? Could it be the hawk?

I will have to keep a better lookout on the activities of the backyard.


31 thoughts on “Feathers?

  1. Tam says:

    You have become a nature mystery writer! Yes, watched a hawk devour a blue jay this winter. Saw the feathers when the snow melted. I should join your nature writing club.

  2. This felt like a morbid picture book. My son would love it! Yowza though. That’s unsettling. I was afraid you were going to find a carcass of some sort. Totally the hawk. Creepy.

  3. mrssurridge says:

    As I scrolled for each photo I was afraid for the next one…I’m glad there was no resolution yet. I’d rather not know what happened, but love how the photos created such mystery.

  4. Mandy Robek says:

    I love how you had photos to help tell your slice and could piece together another time to this story. I hope this is just an unfortunate one time event for you and your feathered friends.

  5. Love that you told a great story with the pictures, & had the previous snow ones, too, Elsie. I’ve seen a hawk attack the songbirds in our previous back yard, & seen crows help protect. Look like a cardinal, don’t you think?

  6. Your backyard always seems to be full of mysteries– to the trees painting their shadows to a trail of unknown feathers. Good for you for taking the time to notice what it has to offer!

  7. Loved the photos. It is a mystery indeed. Cardinal? What actually happened? Last winter we had a similar incident – and I caught some of the feathers against snow. So sad to see nature at its rawest.

  8. I love the use of the pictures to tell this story. I bet you need to watch for a hawk but I want to know what bird was dinner. I love the red feathers. So who did the eating and who got eaten?

  9. I was puzzled about the pics with no snow and then all of a sudden snow. Turns out I was reading the pics and skipping over the text. A close reading of the text solved my conundrum.

  10. Interesting. We use a similar scenario and have students write a narrative of what happened. No wrong answers, they justify their assumptions. It is a great starter for creative writing. Sometimes I have students trade with another person & compare their ideas.

  11. Oh no! I hate to see feathers like this, knowing there was not a happy ending for the bird. That was one concern I had with our stray cat, Monk and our bird feeders….but he does not bother them. They seem to take turns…or maybe the birds just know when it is safe. Love your pictures.

  12. elsie, I love how you use images in your post alongside your words–always to complement, never to completely replace. Keep us posted on the mystery!

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