A few days ago, on my walk, I came upon an amazing bold and bright yellow feather lying on the ground. I looked around and saw another feather, and another and then several more. There was no indication of foul play, no annihilated body remnants…just a scattered bunch of gorgeous feathers.
I gathered all the feathers to take home with me. I was unable to identify the species of bird from which they came. I would attempt to do so on my return home where I could enlist the aid of my field guide, Stan Tekiela’s Birds of Virginia.
As I continued on my way, I could hear birds all around me, but I could not see most of them. My personal bird identification abilities are quite limited, more so with only a call or song for reference. But, the sounds were enough to complement the enjoyment of my outing especially since the past few months have been very quiet and near void of bird song. Is this a sign of Spring creeping back to the farm?
As I approached the pond, I got a glimpse of several birds floating on the pond. I was able to make out three male and three female mallard ducks. Under the small pond house deck, two Canada geese took refuge. As I advanced, the geese paddled to and joined the ducks and then waddled onto the shore.
|check out the size of that webbed foot...|
I had hoped to sneak up for closer observation, but with three dogs as companions, sneaking is just about impossible. Each dog, almost simultaneously, saw the birds and took off running in their direction. The ducks, all six, were the first to take flight, followed closely by the two geese.
I missed a chance at a more intimate scrutiny, but watching the birds airlift to full exit flight was so spectacular. Their rise was smooth and quick and their escape graceful and stunning.
I continued to watch as the birds distanced themselves effortlessly. They were soon out of sight.
Beauty comes in many forms. And, thanks to my dogs, I witnessed another astonishing form of beauty.
P.S. Once home, I immediately retrieved my field guide to help identify the source of my found feathers. I am still unsure as to the species - ugh!
Seasonal Update - Today, February 17th, we are covered with inches of fluffy white snow from last night’s storm. I guess Winter is still very much present on the farm and Spring is not arriving as soon as I had hoped.