In the last few weeks, the mallards that regularly came to eat the spilled birdseed beneath the feeder in the red maple have been noticeably absent. Over the spring and early summer I got in the habit of filling the feeder and tossing a couple of fistfuls of seed at the base of the tree for the ducks. The duties of guarding and raising eleven babies only allowed the male to come for a quick dry-land dabble, and the female only came once by herself, leaving me to surmise that the male was being Mr. Mom somewhere in the nearby canal. By now the youngsters must be totally independent, and if they still hang with the old folks, they don’t remember that one day the hen brought them all to my backyard. Perhaps that’s for the best. I don’t know if I want to attract that many ducks to the feeder. The smaller birds get really ticked, and there’s a lot of jostling and nipping then the big ducks show up! The redwings and bluejays and others are happy to have the feeder to themselves once again.
A few days ago the adult ducks did stop by. The male was looking rather tatty in full eclipse plumage—at first glance I almost thought it was two females—but obviously not molting, and still able to fly. There wasn’t much seed on the ground; the feeder was due for a fill-up (the adults are bringing the juveniles around to show them where they can get some fast food) but I hadn’t expected to see the mallards back. Now that the kids are grown, they’re free to just take off and travel to the marsh, or the Pelee marina, or some of the other wetlands nearby, before heading south in the fall. I’ll keep an eye out for them, but I think they may this visit could be their swan song (so to speak) until next year.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.