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Monday, February 16, 2009

Hen Pheasant




This is a sad story in one way, yet I am really happy to be able to show you these pictures.

The set-up and a digression: I live just a mile from a small town. When I can shop there I often walk to town. Today I had to get the remainder of my antibiotic prescription. Wal-mart didn't have enough pills Friday night, but I needed to get the partial fill because they wanted me to start the medicine right away. This prescription isn't one of the ones on their $4 generic list. (I learned that there are over 300 generic drugs that you can't get at those low prices.) So I switched it to the hometown store and Maggie and I walked in to pick it up. Here's a real eye-opener. 8 pills at Wal-Mart were $21.66, or $2.71 each. The remaining 22 pills at the hometown store were $30.21, which is $1.37 each- half the price. Very interesting!

Now back to the main story: Just as we entered town, Maggie started to poke around at the base of a street sign. Of course I figured she was just exploring where some other dog had staked out a claim. But as I tugged at her leash I noticed that there was something she was really sniffing at. I discovered a dead hen pheasant, just lying on the snow. Possibly it had been hit by a car and was able to run just out of the road before dying.



Pheasants have become so ordinary here in the northeast US that we have all but forgotten that they were introduced here in 1857 for hunting. The birds are actually native to Asia. They are a fairly large bird, this female is probably 18 inches from beak to the end of the tail. The cock pheasants are very beautiful. Perhaps I'll be able to get some pictures of one sometime. The beauty of the hens is more subtle, with muted colors and the repetition of the feather patterns. Even though they are not native, they are one of my favorite birds.



9 comments:

Manz said...

It is a shame that these images couldn't be accompanied with a happier tale...

But I do love the markings and you tooks some great images.

rainfield61 said...

It is a sad ending to the pheasants. I used to see cats or dogs facing the same fate as well. They do not able to adjust themselves to our world.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Manz- Glad you like the pix. It is closeups of feathers like this that make is so obvious how the great oriental painters stylized feather patterns so well in their paintings. It would look great on a T!

Rainfield- I read somewhere long ago (always wish that I'd noted the source) that a million animals are killed on US highways every day. Death is a natural part of life, but I think the vehicles tip the scales against the critters.

Ratty said...

It is hard to think of a beautiful animal like this dying, but it's a necessary story to tell. It should remind us all to be careful when we're out driving.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Ratty- I'm not opposed to hunting- also an unnatural death for beautiful animals. Actually I grew up eating so much pheasant that I could hardly believe it when I learned that it was an expensive delicacy. Yet, it is sad when animals are simply run down in the road. Not much purpose there.

betchai said...

i actually am so drawn to your feather pictures (1st and last), they look like great works of fine art or abstract to me, sad that what lies in the picture is the unnatural death of the pheasant. Thanks for sharing us the story.

wow, so the hometown store has cheaper pill than Walmart, very interesting indeed.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Betchai- I'm glad you like the feathers. I really, really love them too. I can see them painted or embroidered, or... hey, just pictured!

Lin said...

Well, it's sad, but at least you got to honor her by appreciating her beauty. What lovely colors and feathers!! She is beautiful.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Lin- unless seen closely, the hens just look like a brown bird. I'm so glad everyone is appreciating her beauty!

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