Friday, April 06, 2007


ALL IN A MORNING'S WORK


This bright blue morning I was standing on the elevated train platform down by the lakeshore, waiting for the train to the big city and gazing out at the lake, when I noticed a flock of about a dozen geese flying by at eye level. They circled and came back low; I watched them from above so could see the light patterns they present to an overhead view while flying, probably very effective against raptor birds, the effect of their rapid wingbeats and light/dark coloration resembling brief glimmers of sunlit water...

They rose and turned as one, flew off and came back, all this time over the dry unharrowed rice paddies by the lakeside, the paddies now greening with the first tender weed buds of Spring. Back and forth the ducks flew, high and low, searching for the ideal spot in all that new softness: a spot rich in breakfast, yet with sufficient distance on all sides from predator hiding places.

They were selecting very carefully: here? no... here? no... It took a while, and a lot of flying energy, but finally they selected a spot right down there in front of me and made their landings. Being used to landing on water, seems they land on land in much the same way. The new grasses being soft, but fluffy, the ducks didn't glide in and water-ski to a graceful halt as usual, but sort of slid a bit on their hind ends, then as soon as their feet got tangled in the grass they flopped forward onto their beaks in a brief three-point landing, all in a morning's work.

From that point the bright males waddled around nibbling buds to their hearts' content; the females, their responsibilities being so much greater, were practically invisible.

3 comments:

Val said...

Sounds like a lovely start to a commute. Thanks for sharing your insightful moments. Just feeling a bit homesick for the Kyoto area (only have been there for a few weeks in total) *sigh*

Robert Brady said...

Glad I can help out a little bit, Val...

Trace said...

Wonderful!!