Winging it like a bird displayed at 40% of viewport width
August 2019 by V. R. Duin


Now, they'd fly to a distant place,
Where Dolly's roots just might be traced.
The trio heard the engines roar.
Into the sky, their plane would soar.

Here's how to start “winging it” to “wing our way” and “earn our wings”.

When unprepared, we may do our best by “winging it”. Someone may be “waiting in the wings” to steal the opportunity. Birds may hang upside down to relax, play or wait. They don't sleep with heads hidden under their wings.

Birds force their offspring to leave the nest. In The Amazing Flight of Little Ray, a bird assisted a young stingray with dreams of flying. As shown in the video below, flight gives independence and presents new challenges.

Birds encourage their babies to go greater distances with each failing leap. To not discourage his goals, Mama Ray “gave wing” to her son's idea to fly. She hoped he would to soar like a bird, not with one.

Rays do not have a natural ability for air travel. Some things go better if we “wing our way”“ under someone's wings”. However, when Little Ray arrived “on a wing and a prayer”, Mama Ray may have “clipped his wings”.

Birds preen their feathers, including those on their wings. Little Ray seems to have “wing-envy”. Why else would he try to fly like a bird? Unfortunately, stingrays have featherless fins with a wing-like appearance.

Fish can exit water. Until Dolly has a flying video of her own, she shares The Amazing Flight of Little Ray. Much like fish flap their fins to swim through water, flying and swimming birds perform fish-like movements.

Birds have real wings. Wings are different shapes for different needs of different birds. Not all species require air takeoff, speed, gliding or landing. Some birds use wings to swim and fly. Others just swim with their wings.

Few wading birds want wet feathers. The oily, water-proof feathers provide protection. To aid in spotting prey while hunting, some wading species spread their wings for visor-effect glare reduction. Others do this to dry off.

Animals are creative about using natural form to their advantage. Ostriches and penguins use their wings to improve running or swimming speed. Three-jointed human bird-wing-like arms aid running and swimming.

Birds cannot take to the sky without feathers. There is more to a Fine Feather than fashionable appearance. Remiges or flight feathers, cover avian wings and tails. Birds are in control of their wings and feathers.

Feathers generate lift and glide. Most birds circle on updrafts for lift. Hummingbirds can fly up, down, sideways, upright and upside down. Tail feathers support some birds as they walk up and down trees in search of food.

Altitude offers a sense of safety and a good view. Most birds build nests up high in trees. People free-climb trees or use spikes, spurs, hooks, ladders and ropes to achieve height for work, recreation, sport and living purposes.

Humans experiment with wing forms for planes, helicopters and drones. Flying machines do important jobs. There's pride in flight. “Parrot Bebop” drones can take our pictures, even while we're hang-gliding like Little Ray.

“Winging it” dates back to ancient Greece. The story of Icarus and Daedalus tells of wing construction for escape. Should we tire of flapping and spinning efforts, the Martin Jet Pack can power hummingbird retreat.

Entrepreneurs may need examples to do new things and exceed old boundaries. People don't have the natural navigation skills of birds. Compasses and other equipment facilitate travel over long distances.

Human inventions often start with ideas from nature. “When pigs have wings”, we should be able to fly like birds. Although birds have not been seen in outer space, children have no ceilings for their dreams.

People and stingrays can take flight like birds. Fact/Myth tells about a bird that does what seems utterly impossible, while making it seem easy: An albatross Can Fly Around the World Without Landing.

Little Ray's flight video is about soaring against all odds: “The world helps those who try and try, to fly and fly.” The words are not from the book. Illustrations and ideas are from the story. (34 seconds)