Thursday, March 27, 2008

Warm walk


It’s always a bit disconcerting to see feet sticking out of the pond.
But, there they were—2 bright orange legs, webbed toes pointing to the sky.

Ducks settle often on Little Pond pool—there on the top of the hill, with the openness of the wide sky overhead. Feeding on the growth just beneath the surface, floating peacefully until an approaching visitor sends them, flapping wildly, to the sky.

This was a male mallard—and the turtles had already begun the cleanup. An odd passing. The remains of his body left in the very center of the pool.

The warm day threatens more rain.
His scattered feathers are carried on a balmy breeze across the water.

From the edge of the woods I watch as another flapping form circles above--silhouetted against a white sky.
She circles again.
And flies on.
Alone.

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7 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is sad to see this. I wonder if the turtles took the mallard. I bet they are hungry after just awakening this spring. Thank you for sparing us a picture. Nature has its ways.

Sandpiper said...

Oh, so sad. The snapping turtles here often grab the eggs and chicks of the baby water birds around here.

MojoMan said...

I often wonder what goes on in those bird brains at times like this, whether it's a pair of doves watching their fledglings killed by a cat or a robin standing in the road by its squished mate. Do they feel horror? Sadness?

Tom said...

Huh...interesting. No pictures? Too gruesome I suppose...


Tom

nina said...

Lisa--What puzzles me is that this duck was large and seemed to be untouched from the neck backward. I would've suspected turtles caught him if his feet or belly were scarred, but would a turtle grab a duck by the neck? (I guess maybe while he was feeding?--head under water--gulp!)

Sandpiper--Ours, too. In fact our geese have now learned to walk their babies down the road as soon as they can, instead of swimming them across the pond!

Mojoman--I agree. My heart aches for ditch ducks--one dead at the roadside and the mate that doesn't know what to do. Standing there helplessly, bewildered.
I think those little bird brains have a great capacity for love.


Tom--yeah--a little too much for most. I was a little shocked to see my peacefully, salamander-filled basin decorated with a dead duck--my walks have been so much more pleasant lately!

Cathy said...

Yeah. I'm glad you spared us the photo. Thanks. That image of his mate flying away. Sad.

I guess those would be snapping turtles?

Balmy breezes? I sometimes wonder if we're on the same planet let alone the same state.

nina said...

Cathy--I think snappers, yes.
I understand your amazement at our weather differences.
I wonder if what we experience is because of the river valley? It seems a lot of "systems" from the southwest move along these corridors? It's hard to imagine just 150 miles would create such different worlds!

Hang in there, it's bound to float upstream eventually.