One of our local meteorologists, Paul Gross, says “get set to sweat” tomorrow. Well, there was no sweating this morning I’ll tell you. When I got up at 5:00 a.m., it was only 54 degrees out. The house seemed cold to me, even after I downed my first cup of coffee, and ate my piping hot oatmeal. So, I turned on the furnace and let it run one cycle to take the chill out of the air for the wee one and me.
I set out early with my destination of Council Point Park. I tied a bag on the side of my fanny pack, which I filled with peanuts and some dried-up bread, hoping to entice either my furry or feathered friends to visit me on the trail or along the water’s edge, respectively.
The neighborhoods were so quiet with fans and A/C units stilled in the chilly morn. At the Park, I started the trail and nary a soul was in sight … neither man nor beast. As I plodded along the perimeter path, I scanned the Creek water looking for ducks to offload my bread for their breakfast, but there were none.
But the water lilies caught my attention, so I decided to go down the slope and check them out. There were many pads clustered together and floating daintily, seemingly supported by the funky-looking seaweed just beneath the surface of the murky water. Despite all the rain we’ve had this year, sometimes the Creek water is really brown and all you can see beneath the surface is the seaweed. While the water lilies were something different in the Creek water, I just saw lots of round leaves, but no lilies. I wonder who feasted on those delicate flowers? I didn’t see any frogs sitting on the pads either.
As I turned around to leave, there was a movement beyond in the bushes. I shielded my eyes from the glare of the sun, but couldn’t see anything, so I positioned myself out of the sun. Then I saw something stir again so I stayed very still to investigate. Though I didn’t have my binoculars on me to hone in for a closer look, I realized I could zoom in with the camera.
It was then that I saw them. A collection of ducklings, all huddled together in a safe haven from the Creek and any predators … including me. They were very quiet, not moving a muscle, so I, too, stopped in my tracks. I waited a few minutes until they were comfortable with my presence, then I took the camera out slowly to capture the serene setting. I took several pictures of the group and then this one duckling who seemingly posed for me.
Then I tucked the camera back into its case and stayed silent in the event they decided to waddle out, one by one, to deposit themselves into the Creek. But they stayed put, so I moved on, musing for the rest of my time on the Park path that I had been lookin’ for ducks in all the wrong places. Yup, the water seemed like the logical spot, but clearly I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Today was just ducky indeed … beautiful weather and an energizing five-mile trip to the Park. I was so enamored with my little feathered friends that I was halfway home before I realized that I never tendered my treats – maybe tomorrow.