Sheddings / by Chris Maynard

 Shed feathers.

Shed feathers.

All over my field, my geese are shedding their feathers after wearing them for a year. We also shed our covering--our skin. Instead of a yearly molt, we shed our outer skin constantly, so much that our entire outer skin is replaced about once a month. Another characteristic our skin shares with feathers is that each is made of the same kind of protein—keratin. Reading a 2010 National Geographic article on skin , I found that like my field is full of shed feathers, my house is full of my shed skin cells. I shed about eight pounds a year which becomes most of the dust in the corners, on top of the refrigerator, and on my computer screen. Eeeeew.