|Todd: Man on a Mission|
|The New View|
|Lunch Along Elmira Pond|
|At Home on the Log|
|Wing Dance on water|
|Look Who's Back (With an Itch)|
|The Watcher is Caught in Another's Gaze|
Todd is wearing his bandanna with psychedelic smiley-faces; the icon of a man on a mission. I'm on my knees in the garden, pulling micro-weeds from my row of carrots. How is it that my row of seeds have sprouted as if I had been a reckless Johnny Carrot-seed, tossing wildly? My row is hardly straight, although I remember taking care to trench the row. And why do the weeds grow up among the seedling, but not elsewhere?
But I am ready to be done with the weeding, watering and love-talking here. The pond beckons and I have a new view.
Among Todd's work this morning--mowing the lawn, picking cherries and fixing the unhinged driver's seat in the Blue Goose--he has mowed my new viewing station under the canopy of the apple tree. Having realized how good the shade felt yesterday, I am ready to camp out with binoculars, camera and lunch. And for lunch, cherries grace the menu, along with smoked Gouda cheese, tomato-basil crackers, hard-salami, pickles and strawberry short-cake.
After chairs and table are set, I am ready for guests. Todd joins me with both GSPs. He tethers their leashes to rope wrapped around tree. They pant, as if ready to launch after horses or robins. German-engineered is a reference to the breed and their diligence and intelligence, both which can be exhausting. It takes some convincing to simply, "lie down." To them, green pastures are for running.
Pistol splashes through the reeds, revealing the depth of the water as at least four to five inches deep. It looks as if the pond has receded, but really, it's just the marsh plants growing taller than the water is deep. It is deep beyond the reeds, so clear and dark blue, like that crayon I always liked, "Midnight Blue." On Elmira Pond, the horses have everything they need, food water and shelter.
So does Blue Heron. It's evident that he has moved in for the duration. He also seems to be adjusting to me as pond paparazzi. No longer does he flap across the fence to the willows in the pasture beyond, he hangs out and nibbles at his own feathers. Without a wave good-bye, he lifts up off the log and flies to the pasture. I explain to Todd that Blue Heron will be back.
Todd and I argue over the female ducks. Squinting through the binoculars he insists that the one female we can see is a mallard. Okay, I know the females are tougher to discern, but she has a gray bill like the male ring-necked ducks. Besides, why would a mallard hen hang out with ring-necked guys? My final point--she dives. Todd concedes, this time. We watch the males dive then splash their feathers in a summertime display.
I could sit under this tree all day. Finally, the heat has subsided and a stiff wind blows. I imagine having my bed out here, under the tree. Where is Blue Heron's bed? Does he roost in a tree? Snuggle under the willows? Camp-out, stiff legged on the log? Speaking of the bird, he returns. He must have an itch as he is scratching at his head with his foot. The horses swat at flies and Grendel rolls in the grass to escape a buzzing bee. Maybe an outdoor bed wouldn't be the best.
A seagull flies over, intently scoping the pond. I recognize him this time and I'm not fooled (again) into thinking it's an albino osprey. And no osprey today. Just that relaxing breeze and near-perfect temperature. A train rumbles past, carting containers from Seattle to Canada. This new view is a great view.
Finally the horses take interest...they've grazed and watered, even shoved their heads through the fence to eat grass on this side. But suddenly they are curious as to why I am here, ears perked
|Spotting the Pond Spotter|