Wandering about my backyard yesterday evening, I discovered a scattering of downy feathers—a worrisome number—clinging to needles beneath the redwoods. There were a few grayish-blue feathers, too. There was no body, only feathers. Had my tomcat done this? A hawk? I poked at them with my long stick and felt the bird’s fear rising from the earth, imagined how the poor thing struggled and tried to flee; perhaps it only left behind a few feathers and managed to escape. I placed two of the more mature feathers on a narrow wooden table and secured them with a small grey stone.