My life is currently covered in feathers.
On a normal day, feathers are lovely floaty and in fact amazingly designed things. This week they are the harbinger of evil. Okay, maybe not that dire. Well, for sure not that dire, but they can be a bloody nuisance!
End of summer means moulting season for the ducks. The boys in particular. It’s all about out with the old and in with the new. Autumn is when ducks pair off, or in the case of uneven numbers, the best looking male gets a harem. So there is incentive to preen and pull out old feathers and fluff up the new.
There are currently feathers everywhere the ducks have been, in their bedroom, the courtyard, the garden… . The duck’s enclosure looks like somebody had a massive pillow fight.
If you didn’t know, feathers have little hooks on the end of those fluffy strands (barbules). These hook to others and this gives the bird that sleek, water rolls off my back, look. This time of year it is more a ruffled, just got out of bed look, until the moulting finishes. I mention this little known fact as this is why feathers hook onto clothes, grass, clothes, hair, clothes, straw, clothes.
To add to the melee, our dog Chewie, who is normally quite a staid, yet happy dog, decided to hump our feather duvet. (Apologies for the graphic nature of this vignette, but autumn actually vies with spring when it comes to amour.) It was quite an amorous activity (who knew?) and the consequence was a whole series of holes. (You know where this is going, don’t you.) I have been sewing ever since.
Each morning, in typical French fashion, the duvet is flung, shook and hung out the window for airing. Each morning I am covered in feathers as I discover yet another hole I missed mending. It turns out they can escape from holes incredibly miniscule, let alone large.
Follow this link for everything you wanted to know about feathers, but were afraid to ask.
And should you be on the lookout for duck and other animal inspired gifts – you’ll find quite a few in our shop.