Years ago, I lived for a year and a half in the UK, and spent a lot of time on my weekends touring properties listed under the National Trust. If I had been asked to come up with photos to describe my impression of ornate at that time, I would have drawn on references such as rococo furniture, tapestries, paintings with gilded frames, the fencing surrounding Buckingham Palace and the gardens of Hampton Court. All are still valid today, and I could go back in my archives and find dozens of examples… but my brain seems to work differently now.
Now, when I think of ornate, I think of birds. The beautiful detail of feathers when seen up close. The dizzying array of patterns, colours and textures. The mating performances. Even the patterns of their flight.
When you look at the birds below quickly, they seem to be dusty creatures in tones of beige, brown and grey. So take a closer look at a few ornately decorated birds I found in Botswana and South Africa.