Feathers On Friday: Snowy Egret Struts On By

Snowy Egret is a regular visitor to our backyard. He’s usually on a food-finding mission and woe betide any unsuspecting frogs or lizards who happen to catch his observant eyes. He makes short shrift of them, grabbing them mercilessly in his beak and swallowing them whole, never to be seen again. He is distinguishable from the Great Egret by his bright yellow feet, plus he’s somewhat smaller.

In the late nineteenth century, this majestic bird was hunted for its soft, pure-white breeding feathers which were used to adorn women’s hats. These much sought after plumes sold for thirty two dollars per ounce, twice the price of gold at that time. This practice almost led to their extinction. Thankfully, they and many other birds are now protected by the ‘Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918’ which makes it unlawful to hunt, capture or sell nearly 1,100 birds listed in the treaty.

Wishing you all a splendid weekend. We are expecting 30 C today, so I think I’ll stay indoors and play my piano.

Friday’s Feathers: Mr. Yellow Feet

Snowy the egret strutted his stuff past my bathroom window. “Just so you know…..yellow feet are quite in vogue this year.”

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The sight of his yellow foot gear brought back long-ago memories of  Miss Stone, my English Grammar School headmistress. I and my fellow pupils were quite intrigued by her somewhat scruffy attire. She invariably wore thick, yellow, ribbed stockings with her brown tweed skirt and a red cardigan which sported a hole in one elbow. I remember wondering whether she washed the stockings every night, ready for the next day. One day, my sister, whilst on her way to her singing lesson, spotted Miss Stone striding along the pavement, still wearing the same clothes, but with a spade over her shoulder. We assumed that she was going to dig in her allotment, not bury a dead body, but we never could be sure.

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend.