The Feather Thief

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The Feather Thief

This is a discussion on The Feather Thief within the Wildlife forums, part of the Other Pets and Animals category; I scrounge fallen feathers, nests, egg shells, and butterfly wings along with the occasional moss. The moss goes in a big pickle jar or one ...

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Old 05-14-2019, 01:24 PM
 
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The Feather Thief

I scrounge fallen feathers, nests, egg shells, and butterfly wings along with the occasional moss.

The moss goes in a big pickle jar or one of the extra coffee pots that I seem to accumulate. Moss can be grown easily in a closed jar. A layer of potting soil, a couple three teaspoons of water, a nice rock, the moss and close it up. An hour or so of direct sunlight is not too much, but other than that these little gardens are pretty carefree. If you get the moisture right, everyday has a micro-weather cycle of cooling, condensing on the glass as the temperature rises and rainfall down the sides as the temperature drops. If it feels like it's too wet inside, take the lid off for a time. A monarch wing strategically placed and one can imagine a tiger named Hobbes ready to pounce from a green carpeted forest glade.

I've got a moss growing inside a jar--I lay the jars on their sides for more space-- from my first in the woods, off leash, learn my whistle outing with Frank. A little over a year now.
Feathers and nests ( the downy woodpecker entire shoulder wing walk, the hawks wing right shoulder 5 feather walk, the single bluejay feather walk...) are on display nearby with feathers pin cushioned into nests. If we are lucky and stay healthy, my collection will span a over a decade and tell some of the story of me and my dog over the years.

I was at the library over the weekend and came across a quasi-bird book, The Feather Thief ( Kirk Wallace Johnson) It's an enjoyable read if you like birds, are concerned about bird populations, have an interest in evolution, are fascinated by jungle exploration, like stories about crooks and hats and crazy English Lords... natural history, museums, ship wrecks... and feathers.
It's all about the feathers.

From the opening page...
"Man is seldom content to witness beauty. He must posses it."
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:47 AM
 
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What a great idea! Those jars would make lovely fairy gardens too! I do have a large glass jar/fish bowl, but at the moment it is holding some of my poodle mix's hair for the birds and squirrels (though rain got in and it needs to be cleaned out now).
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:45 AM
 
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I'm definitely going to try one too. My nest may be empty and gathering dust but my soul still needs some sort of a garden to come home to.

Plumbing, refrigeration, internet, and cooking facilities are nice too.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Littlefox View Post
What a great idea! Those jars would make lovely fairy gardens too! I do have a large glass jar/fish bowl, but at the moment it is holding some of my poodle mix's hair for the birds and squirrels (though rain got in and it needs to be cleaned out now).
I would never bring up fairy gardens, because I'm a guy with a basement storage locker full of power tools, but Yeah!--- Fairy Garden in a fish bowl.

I'll collect a moss on rainy days or the day after when the ground is looser(is looser a word?) and I can grab a small handful without much tugging. The moss will keep fine in a plastic bag... if you happen to be carrying a plastic bag... for days. Just tie it up, and store it out of the way until you have the time for gardening. A little goes a long way in a container. There's no need to lay wall to wall carpet, unless you rilly rilly want a Shrek deep forest experience.

I'm starting to experiment with sedum. I liberated a sample from a neighbors street side stone retaining wall. I've been eyeing this wall for a decade and recently poached a bit that was growing in leaf debris on the side walk. This variety has succulent/ cactus like leaves and white or yellow flowers when it blooms.
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