it would be nice to think that these feathers were found on shore somewhere wild. the remains of an ancient and familiar struggle between predator and prey. but no. they belonged to a lone mallard drake, spotted crumpled on the shoulder of a busy urban highway. my husband had to take two u turns to get back to him, and he smelled a lot more like death than like life, but he had a single wing of unmarred celestial blue feathers, and these gray and black secondary coverts. the predator that got to him had no malice, and no appetite. it was just in a hurry to get home.
saint paul, minnesota