How to go on a feather walk

I am super blessed to live out amongst the trees and animals. Among other things, we have tons of wild turkeys that roam around here. Just yesterday I looked out the window to see about 12 turkeys casually making their way across my side yard scratching for food.

They are huge and amazing.

When we were first moving in to our house, a friend said ‘oh those turkeys will leave when the dogs get here.’

And then one day shortly after we had gotten settled in, the turkeys came walking up the side yard as they do, and the dogs charged the fence line at them. A few of the turkeys trotted away, but one of the big males – obviously the leader of the turkey “pack” – put up his big ol’ tail feathers and came walking straight at the dogs.

The dogs, who had been barking their heads off at the turkeys, all immediately went silent as the turkey postured toward them. Then, one by one, as if to say ‘hey, no problem. We didn’t mean it. It’s all good,’ the dogs casually turned around and walked away!

It was really cool to witness the communication that happened between them all.

 Sometimes I walk the kids (aka the dogs) out around the property. We have 5 acres – half wooded, half pasture – so there’s plenty of places to walk and explore.

My favorite place to go, though, has to be the pasture. For some reason that’s where the turkeys leave their gifts – lots of feathers, big and small – for me to find.

In the fall, I find the most feathers, and I’ve gathered a huge collection that sits in a vase on my kitchen island counter. I have feathers scattered around the house as well. They’re everywhere.

Last year on one walk I found 22 feathers. On another walk I found 21 feathers. And I’ve routinely found 3 or 4 feathers at a time over the past few years.

Fall is the very best time to find feathers – turkey feathers at least – so I always look most forward to walking my kids out in the pasture in the fall. And it’s already started. I’ve found a few large feathers and some small ones too in the last few weeks. I just love it.

Why go on a feather walk?

Feather walks are great for several reasons:

1) They help you connect with nature. You are outside in the fresh air and sunshine examining all the beautiful ways that nature shows up in the world whether that’s bird feathers, interesting rocks and stones or sticks, or the stunning nature art of plants and flowers. You become immersed in nature for a short time where you can shut out the busyness of life, slow down, and connect to the natural rhythms of the earth once again.

2) They help you be present in the moment. If you’re always setting goals and working toward them… If you’re always looking forward to where you want to go… If your eyes are always focused on something in the distance… Then how do you see what’s around you? You will find peace and calm when you “stop and smell the roses” as they say. No, really, you’ll notice and enjoy all sorts of beauty and magnificence when you are present in the moment with what’s around you.

Recently I was on a walk with a friend in a nearby park and found 2 small bird feathers and a fully intact butterfly wing. One feather was blue, the other was solid orange which I had never seen before. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

The thing is, she was talking and her mind was wandering in a million directions and she didn’t see any of our little gifts. I saw them because I was present in the moment and looking intently at nature’s miracles that were all around us.

3) Feathers are a sign that your angels are with you. That’s what they say at least. And who doesn’t want to know that your angels are around you and supporting you? Spirit talks to us in so many ways if we’ll just listen. Finding feathers and accepting them as a message that we are loved and supported is just one of those ways.

How to feather walk

Step 1: Take a walk

Find a path or a park to take a walk in. Or visit a lake or a creek. Walk in the woods. You don’t have to go by yourself (although it’s glorious to have that time to yourself), but if you’re not alone, make sure you are still paying attention to the nature that’s around you.

Step 2: Explore like a child

Look down! That’s where you’ll find the goodies.

And you don’t have to just find feathers. I’m sure my husband thinks I’m crazy for all the rocks, sticks, and leaves I’ve collected and brought into the house.

Nature gifts make beautiful natural art work just as they are, and they also love to be decorated. The spirits of the plants and minerals that are sharing themselves with you are generous and interactive if you’ll talk to them and listen to what they have to say.

Step 3: Be kind

Speaking of listening to them… one word of caution here. Be kind to nature. Don’t pull flowers or leaves or branches off of living plants and trees. It’s just rude. You’ll find plenty of little jewels already on the ground waiting for you.

Step 4: Ask permission

When you find something that catches your eye, make sure you ask permission to take it. Some things are yours and meant to go home with you. Other things are not. I remember a time when I found 2 sticks on the ground side by side. I asked permission to take them. One said yes, the other said no so I respected its wishes and left it.

Step 5: Express gratitude

When the nature spirits do gift you with things, be sure to express your love and gratitude for the magical gifts. This opens the door to more gifts from your nature spirit friends, and raises your vibration to be more in tune with nature as well.

Step 6: Talk with the nature spirits

And finally, talk to your findings! Ask them where they would like to be in your house. Ask them if they would like to be decorated or left as they are. Ask if they would like to be near a window and what they would like to have around them (living plants? crystals? near pets?). And then return the love to them by indulging them in whatever they ask.

You will open up a whole new world to yourself when you start communicating with the spirit of all the nature around you. Life becomes richer and fuller as you get closer to nature so give it a try.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever found on a nature walk? Share with us in the comments below.