Friday, April 28, 2006

Regarding Roadkill

How's that for a title? A disturbing thought crossed my mind last night as I drove home from my friend Keri's house.

On the side of the road an owl had met its demise, presumably it lost its life to an oncoming car or truck. I suspect it was a barn owl, but couldn't look closely as I whizzed by at 50 mph. One thing I did notice, though, was that some of its beautiful (wing? tail?) feathers were standing straight up. For a split second I thought, "I should stop and pluck those out." But I didn't.

Maui has two types of owls, the pueo or Hawaiian owl, which is endemic to Hawaii, and the barn owl. You can read more about the pueo here. The pueo has mystical properties to native Hawaiians, some who consider it to be their 'aumakua or personal family guardian. It is considered to be good luck to see an owl fly overhead as you travel, and I often get chicken skin (goosebumps) when I see them in the early dusk hours. But I digress...

My impulse to pluck the feathers was fueled by thoughts of using them in a quilt or other fiberart piece but, as beautiful as they were, it seemed sacrilege to do so. Plus, I am superstitious about some things and I don't need any bad luck raining down on my head. On the flip side, however, it seemed a shame to have them go to waste on the road side.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...


You better check with a Kahuna before you pluck feathers from a Pueo. But I agree they would be beautiful worked into artwork.


Sande said...

I think it's a good thing you didn't pluck...I don't know about Hawaii but around here (Michigan) you can get a big fine for having certain things like that...just about anything but sparrows and robins are off limits.
Aside from the legalities, I can see where it might not feel right to include those things in artwork.
And...your Indian Feather UFO is just beautiful. Hope you can find the 4 pieces you need to finish!