My great uncle (my dad's uncle, who also happens to be pretty awesome) gave me such an amazing, and unexpected gift today. While visiting with Uncle Jack and Aunt Lois after work today, he asked me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. In them, he placed my favorite carved duck. His beloved Green Wing Teal. This bird took him upwards of 100 hours to make. This includes hand-carving the shape and then wood-burning each intricate detail of each and every feather. The whole thing is made out of Bass wood and then hand-painted according to photographs. In order to make it look more realistic, Uncle Jack only painted the "teal" feathers on one side of the bird because in real life they don't usually show on both sides while the bird is at rest. He also told me that everything on a duck is curved, except for one teeny, tiny spot just underneath their bill, and so likewise, this bird has only one flat spot.
With all the attention to detail, hard work, and care that went into making this bird, it is beyond special. Quite honestly, I'm at a loss for the words that might express to him how extraordinary his gift is. All I know is that now every time I admire this bird, I'll think of him.