Something has happened. She stopped sitting on the nest a while back, and there have been no little peeping heads calling for their dinner.
I am unaccountably sad about this. We have had baby robins here every year for many years. They are part of how we witness the changing rhythms of the seasons, and we delight in their presence. But not this year. It is not to be.
We have a stream running through the garden at the front of the house, and a bridge over that stream. The stream provides overflow runoff between a smallish lake to the west of us and a larger lake to the east.
This morning, as I returned from having some dental work done (not generally when I am most alert), I caught a flicker of movement on the surface of the shallow stream. And there they were:
A mama duck and three ducklings.
Not the mallards we usually see – these were another kind of duck: dark brown and grey, long-necked, mottled with lighter patches on their backs that looked exactly like the filtered light coming through the leaves, a perfect camouflage.
(I did some research. It might have been a surf scoter.)
I was fascinated. This was not a bird I had ever seen here before. And here she was, paddling along, with three little ones trailing her. Although I wished for my camera, I knew I wouldn’t have time to go get it, so I just enjoyed the grace of the moment.
This gift – the persistence of new life – was there. I just had to look in a different direction.
(These are not the same ducks, or even the same kind of ducks. But they are wonderful.)
listening to: George Winston, Blossom/Meadow