Monthly Archives: April 2015

Ducks Unlimited

MaleBuffleheadSpring in Seattle is wild and wonderful, with wind storms thrashing the trees one minute and zephyr breezes merely tussling the tops of the grass stems the next. Spring is the season when we can almost feel the Earth tilting back toward the Sun, bringing the long days that make us and the birds restless, eager to go somewhere, anywhere. Already the summer ducks are arriving, the Cinnamon Teals in full breeding plumage of burnt umber, glowing like fire. Meanwhile, the winter ducks are gathering in flocks to fly north and east to find that one right, best place to nest. Among the last to wrench themselves away are the Buffleheads, our smallest duck. They will be heading out soon to find lonely ponds in the north surrounded by snags with good holes to nest in. Meanwhile, we can enjoy for just a little longer the males’ jewel tones, decked out in gems from their iridescent heads to their ruby feet.

Here is a poem for you today:
I love the gray Seattle spring,
the sky tarnished with cloud,
the silvery light burnishing the Buffleheads
into fire opals, dark and light.