I am fortunate to live near a park with two little lakes joined by a creek, where I linger on bridges to hear the water dance over smooth rocks Where mallards and Canada geese carry on conversations in a fowl language I don't understand Red-winged blackbirds hide in low branches of young trees along the narrow trail When they are nesting, I walk by waving my arms above my head making myself look bigger as they squawk threats at me to protect their young One spring we saw a wood duck with a wounded leg and wing, five ducklings following her to the lake filled with mallards She struggled to an island, little ones following and somehow pushed each one onto dry land; she stayed in the muddy shallow bank The mallards gave her room even though that island was their prime real estate Concerned, we called park headquarters; two young workers drove out in a golf cart to assess the situation, informed us that this was nature's way, there was nothing they could do So we called Waterfowl Rescue, a kind lady told us that the ducklings were in the safest place the mom could have chosen for them We went back later and saw the ducklings, not the mother, swimming in a row the last one struggling to keep up, the others circling around to herd him in The next day we only saw four. We called Waterfowl Rescue again, the kind lady said, “Wood ducks are very skittish, if I try to catch the orphans in a net, they would probably die from the stress of the rescue. Let nature take its course." The next day only three swam by, then two then we saw feathers off the path and knew the inevitable had happened On the last sunny, warm day of autumn we walked by the lake and watched little turtle heads emerge from the water, mallards still swam on the lake, Canada geese were beginning to take to the skies in their honking Vs I still feel fortunate to live by a park with two lakes joined by a creek running through, I still linger on the bridges listening to the water dance over smooth rocks
The top photo of wood ducklings was taken in my front yard.
The bottom photo is Firefighters Park near my house in Troy, MI.