Tuesday, 8 May 2012


For the interesting point about a feather is really this, that it grew. It was not made in a moment, like a bullet poured red-hot into a mold: its little airy plumes, branched like a fern into tiny waving filaments, were developed by slow steps, piece after piece, and spikelet after spikelet. And what is true of this particular bit of down which I hold in my fingers, trembling like gossamer at every breath and every pulse, is also true of plumage as a whole in the history of animal evolution. 
Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen, 1879

Thursday, 3 May 2012