Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Word Wednesday: Why We Love Feathers and JZ

So, while Roger was talking to the good people at Apple about why my two-year old computer would not reliably start up after a system upgrade, I went for a short walk down our little dirt road. I was looking for distraction and nothing in particular. This feather with an orange quill caught my eye. Have you ever seen an orange quill like this before? I had not. When, after several long hours, my computer finally started back up, the first thing I did was google orange quill, then orange calumus, then orange quill bird feather... Nothing meaningful emerged. What to do next? I love answers. So, I emailed the very wonderful and knowledgeable Julie Zickefoose. I hadn't even photographed the feather yet, just sent her a brief description and within an hour I had this response: You found a flicker feather--probably a tail feather--from the intermediate morph called the "gilded" flicker. There's red-shafted in the West and yellow-shafted in the East and in between there's a gilded flicker. It could also be a red-shafted flicker feather. You can check the ranges against where you are.

Now you know why we love feathers and JZ, because the world is simply a more beautiful place for their presence in our lives.

Roger is on Day Nine of Chemo. So far no side effects, as his excellent oncologist predicted. We'll know more next Monday, when he'll have completed two weeks and will have blood tests and an appointment with the doc. In the meantime, we've planted kale, chard, and onions. We're waiting for cooler temps to plant the garlic. We're planning for a delicious future.

21 comments:

  1. You are both such an inspiration!! What a lovely, wonderful post to read before I shut down for the night! I'm so glad Roger is doing well, I love the beautiful feather! Enjoy the rest of your week!

    Sylvia

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  2. Oh so cool!

    Keep it up Roger!!!!!

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  3. Looks to me like the wing feather of a Red-shafted Northern Flicker. Here's a scan from the feather atlas for comparison. Hope the link works:
    http://www.lab.fws.gov/featheratlas/feather.php?Bird=RSFL_wing_adult
    Good to hear that Roger is still feeling well. Hope that continues to be the case for a long while. Also good to hear about all of those vegetables in your future! I think my MacBook started up slower after I made an upgrade to the O/S one time. Can't remember what I did about it though. Hope that gets sorted out.

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  4. It's a beautiful feather, no matter what it is. You're planning for good food and a long and happy life together!

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  5. Glad that Roger is doing well so far and will be hoping his results are great.

    I also like feathers and it frustrates me that the laws are such that I cannot keep feathers of anything but game birds. Fortunately we have wild turkeys out here and they often drop feathers that I can bring back home and I keep them in a vase, like a bouquet.

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  6. that is a lovely feather!

    roger, so glad the chemo is going gently. also, yay garden!

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  7. "planning for a delicious future" I love that phrase. Glad things are going well. Not a day goes by that we don't think of you.

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  8. Feathers and heart rocks seem abundant on my dawn walks.....I just made a dream catcher out of hawk feathers for great Aunt Louise. peace

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  9. Delicious news about roger.

    ... and Zick rocks the bird world!

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  10. I had been hoping for Roger's sake that the side effects would be minimal. My wife went through it about 10 years ago for colon cancer, and she felt game enough to go out to eat on date night. She's stronger than she realizes, and you both are, too.

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  11. What a lovely feather! Feathers are flowers that don't fade. When I find one that has an interesting pattern, I always wish I could see it among its companions so I could understand its part in the coloring of the bird. (Okay, not well stated, but you know what I mean).

    I'm so very glad that Roger is still feeling good! Indeed, you do have a wonderful future of eating well together.

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  12. we love our internet friends too. your support is grand. i may have a bit of a skin rash. not at all serious. from chemo? who knows.

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  13. What are you planting for garlic? I understand there's a place in Oregon from whom you can order some exotic and spicy varieties. I read somewhere that, counterintuitively, fall is the best time to plant.

    Nice to see you so doggedly pushing the needle towards "normal". I'm thinking of you.

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  14. I love flickers, although they do sometimes drill into people's houses to make nests; they make so many different calls, and sound especially sweet during mating season.
    Right on, Roger. Health and delectable veggies for you guys.

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  15. And planting a future it sounds like.

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  16. I'm glad JZ is Julie, and not the rapper. You had me scared for a minute there.

    I was in awe of the number of birds, and found feathers, up at your place. This one is particularly pretty -- orange! Who knew?

    I love hearing about what you've planted. Now I'm thinking I should plant some garlic, too.

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  17. Delicious post.

    Delicious feather.

    And oh yes, a most delicious future.

    So glad things are going so well.

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  18. I saw your post of Stephen's blog and admired what you wrote about human beings. I think there needs to be more tolerance of other religions too. I am happy to read what you write and also notice that we both live in the same vicinity. I live in Greenwood, south of Auburn. Nevada City is a wonderful place.

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  19. Ah yes, seeing it now, it is a secondary feather from a red-shafted flicker's right wing. Such glorious birds flickers are. And how sweet of you to post this. I lvoe you right back.

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  20. Lvoe is different and better than love.

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