Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Up in the feathersphere

I've been collecting feathers for as long as I've been collecting bones. Every time I find one, 
I have to pick it up and keep it. Over the years, small piles of feathers have accumulated throughout the house 
and on the dashboard of my truck. I've never known what to do with my feather collection other than keep it...

...and let it collect dust. A practical person would figure out how to make a feather duster, but that's not me. 
As luck would have it, longtime reader, friend, and kindred spirit Anne Boleyn recently posted on her facebook wall 
what she does with her feather collection. I saw the photo and was instantly inspired.

On my next trip to the Walmart, I picked up a styrofoam ball and proceeded to stick my feathers in it.

Most of the feathers are from hawks, ravens, owls, and doves, with a few contributions from my chickens. 
I have no idea who these orange feathers belonged to. I remember picking up a whole bunch of them on the back 40 
and running into a tarantula in the process. I don't think the tarantula dismembered the orange-feathered bird – 
he just happened to be in the vicinity. Like the bones Lucy and I collect, I can remember the origins of many 
of the feathers in my collection. Yeah, so maybe I've got too much time on my hands and need to get out more.

Anyway, my "feathersphere" – as Anne has coined the term – now hangs from a beam in the living room. 
I had to laugh at one of the comments Anne received on the picture of her feathersphere. It said, 
"I sometimes think that when Mike and I are both gone, whoever gets stuck disposing of our personal possessions 
will do a lot of standing around with something in their hand, shaking their head." 

Yep, there's gonna be a lot of head-shaking around here, too.

Thanks for the great idea, Anne!


  1. Brilliant and beautiful!

  2. Pretty cool.
    Doesn't take care of the dust problem, though, does it.

  3. I love that idea! I also pick up feathers I come across, and love to take close up pics of them too, and have them in a basket on my desk. Off to Walmart I'll go to get the goods that will make most folks scratch their heads and wonder. Ha!

  4. Love the name, love the idea, love the execution. Also, beautiful prints on the adjoining wall

  5. This is genius!! I also collect feathers, but I don't have so many anymore ... hard to keep them away from the cats, who make off with them and destroy them. It's reached the point where I leave feathers where I find them, knowing that they are better there than becoming cat toys. Thanks to this, I now have a place to put feathers to display them AND keep them away from the cats. Thank you!!!

  6. I'm a feather collector, too. I just can't resist, and each one is precious. I made a really wild, natural wreath out of mossy branches and vines that I collected from significant places of my life, and then I just started sticking the feathers in it. I love it. Your feather pomander is going to be amazing! Great idea...


  7. Love the feathers, how cool! Being an ole hippie I have always liked, beads in doorways, chimes and things hanging (like the snake) It's so you!

  8. Love that idea. I actually have a bird themed room. A box my sister built me hangs on the wall and is filled with bird nests, eggs, and feathers.
    I'd be careful with your sphere, lest Johnny think you've made him a new toy. :)

  9. what a clever idea, we often laugh about our kids having to get rid of our "stuff" too LOL oh well, I say enjoy your stuff while you got it and don't worry about who gets it when youre gone :) jeanne in SC

  10. Ditto to all the above, GREAT idea and it is soooo you. Hugs

  11. Anne Boleyn1/15/14, 7:19 AM

    I am so touched by this post! It's wonderful to find so many people who can't leave a feather behind. But of course those are the people who would be here at Carson's blog!
    Now my mission is to identify the owner of the orange feather. Have my trusty "Sibley" here beside me and will take it page by page till I have an idea of what it might be. Project gives meaning to Anne Lamott's title, "Bird by Bird".
    Carson, I trust you saw my whiskersphere too.That one is a bit more tedious. I use one of my dad's hemostats to add whiskers. My father was a surgeon and used hemostats in place of needle nosed pliers and I don't know how anyone gets along without one.
    What other things do people collect? I have rocks and pebbles that I love, and only recently parted with the snakeskin that I have kept for years. I love Carson's bone collection and the pictures that accompany the stories!

  12. super idea. I love the way it looks. Isn't it fun that found treasure always brings back replay in our minds. This is very kewl.

  13. Anne Boleyn1/15/14, 7:32 AM

    Eureka! It's from a red shafted Northern Flicker!

  14. Reminds me of a "bustle," fron Native American regalia.

    We find those orange feathers around here, too, from time to time. We have a lot of red-winged black birds, but the feathers seem too long and too orange for them. I wonder if they could be from one of our many red-tailed hawks? Do you have those near your place?

  15. I collect them too. Be careful though, it's illegal to have some feathers in your possession. Stupid law. I can see if you're killing the birds for them but come on.

  16. Anne, thanks for doing my homework! Who woulda thunk there's such a thing as a feather atlas?!

    And if anyone is wondering, the whiskersphere Anne mentions is made from cat whiskers - you weren't thinking lumberjack, were you?

  17. Nice feathers, but I NEED to know about that wall of art on the right. Please?

  18. Now I know what I can leave behind to drive my daughter crazy!
    BTW, one thing I learned while googling feathers one day is that it is illegal to own a feather of most migratory birds in the US unless you have a special permit - yes, even a single feather. Better lock your doors, Carson, they're comin' to get you! ROFL.

  19. If you temper the barrel, you can trim the edge of some of your flight feathers and make a pen! I teach kids how to make natural inks and feather pens. The nice thing about feathers is that the birds make new ones every year, so you don't have to feel bad about using them.

  20. Me again! I really love the dog and cat powwow circle that the feathers were in. Is it a candle holder?
    And I agree, let's have a closer look at the art on the wall on the right!

  21. I"m sure there is always a huge lot of head shaking happening all over the globe when folks try to dispose of their dear departed's "stuff" .... and a lot of perplexed wtf"s too...

  22. As a collector of feathers and rocks loved the new idea of displaying them. Wanted to send along a photo of my display, but can't seem to figure out how to do that in the comment section. Also love your art walls.

  23. Carson, Be sure to check the laws in your state regarding raptors. In many states it is illegal to possess any part of a protected species, including eggs, nests, or feathers, even if you pick them up from the ground. With your blog so popular, I'm sure there are many eyes out there looking at it.

  24. I pick up feathers too. What a great idea! I often leave mine somewhere 'safe' wondering that to do with them and the dogs end up chewing them up. :P