A Sunny Morning at the Ponds



A fresh morning, not crisp, there’s been no frost yet, and the leaves rustle as I walk through them; they won’t make that satisfying scrunch until they’re frozen. The leaf bed thins as I pass the trees and reach the corner below the abandoned Osprey nest, the sidewalk now almost back to its uniform grey, is cleansed by rain and walkers of its Jackson Pollock-like display which was such a dramatic feature when the nest was in use. I should note that the palette was much more muted than Pollock would ever have used being restricted to whites, grays and pale browns.

As I approach the Ponds I see the three-bird log occupied by its customary three cormorants. As usual, one is holding out its wings to dry in that effete, limp-wristed manner adopted by its species. I call it the three-bird log because it nearly always has three birds on it. There was a change for a week or so last summer when a turtle or two hauled out onto it and the birds seemed reluctant to share with turtles. There is also a two-bird log that is the same size but is apparently a less favored piece of real estate, less sun perhaps or not such a fashionable corner of the Ponds.

The ducks are busy swimming in pairs, but the geese, seemingly more promiscuous, are swimming about in threes and fours. There is a Great Eagret standing bright white against the dark grey-green of the bank on the far side of the Ponds. On this side, no more that forty feet away as I walk past, is a large Heron, still, as an old tree trunk, up to her knees in water and watching the in-fall for breakfast to come swimming by.

On the return from my three-mile round trip for a latte (raw on the bottom and cinnamon sprinkle, of course) it becomes clear that the season of goodwill must be approaching. The two-bird log has three cormorants and the three-bird log has four, an unprecedented situation! No one is drying their wings of course, that would clearly be impolite in such unusually crowded conditions. Everything has the appearance of peace and harmony, even the large domestic goose is fraternizing with the Canadian variety as she sails sedately among them like a Spanish galleon with her high poop deck contrasting with her smaller and sleeker cousin’s low curved stern.

2 Responses so far.

  1. jazgal says:

    Pleasant stroll! So many birdly characters on the pond!

  2. eldkim says:

    Loved the term "three-bird log!" What a great way to convey place and ownership.
    Also how the "birds seemed reluctant to share with turtles, "ack! of all creatures, those cold-blooded slackers!" sez I.
    And the impolite wing drying... well that's just fantastic! As is your final sentence of this piece.
    Jim, the way you interpret/anthropomorphize what you observed on that walk at the (Delta?) ponds is simply tasty!

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