Wildfowl

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.


18 thoughts on “Wildfowl

    1. It did break my heart that we couldn’t do anything about them. They were cute but sad to see their fate. The top photo of the little chicks in the yard, they were on their way to the lake with their mom, but some got separated from her and actually tried to go in our front door! She finally gathered them but later that night I saw a coyote. Not a good sign. I’m glad you have seen how cute their are as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is. I thought it was also beautiful how the mallards gave the momma room on their island. That was quite compassionate I think. Thanks for stopping by, Janette. Hope you had a cozy Thanksgiving.

      Like

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