It is moulting season at the Aviary, and Sophie and I are searching in earnest for a very long, poke-y twig.
Having found a fairly suitable one, in and among some old bushes, we then wrap the end in spider's webs, which were caught in the metal net of the cage nearby. The pretty plumed parrots inside are silently watching us, and I will them a 'hello, nice to meet you.'
Then, carefully carefully, Sophie pokes the stick through the net of the enclosure, and I direct her hand this way and that, hoping to catch that elusive brightly coloured feather on the end of the twig of spider's webs.
Later, we look over our small prizes: a tufty yellow and white feather, like the down inside a jacket; a longer red and green feather; and a beautiful blue and black one, like shifting shadows in water.
I always like to thank both plants and animals, when I find such gifts as these, and so I send my thoughts out to them with an energy of gratitude.