Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hiding in Plain Sight

A Grebe Hides...Somewhere
What Are the Geese Hiding?
Yellow Babies!
Hard to See
A Cluster of Babies Between Parents
Spring is Yellow
Look -- over there by the clump of blond reeds. A pie-billed grebe. Two! Do you -- they're gone now.

For three pond seasons in a row the pie-billed grebes have hid in plain sight. I can't tell the male from the female; both are drab and gray. Their most distinct attribute is a gray bill. A light gray bill and a dark gray duck that doesn't even weigh in at one pound.

Yet, they sink out of sight like feathered stones.

Often I'd see the grebe or the female hooded merganser. I became convinced that they were the same. Mergansers are only a few ounces heavier tipping the one-pound mark on the scale. Thus they are similar in size.

Some days the merganser's light cinnamon crest sparkled with water droplets and other days I'd think she was homely as a chicken.

The grebe is the one who looks like a chicken.

And like chickens, the new hatchlings of the Canada geese have arrived! They are fluffy and yellow like baby chicks.

Why yellow, I wonder?

As if Elmira Pond wanted to teach me a lesson, I've struggled to spot those baby geese among her many hallows and islands. I stared hard at both parents with the binoculars and a movement caught my eye. Then another. The babies! Four of them.

Yellow hides them in plain sight.

We think of spring as the greening. Focused on green we ignore the dwindling thatches of last summer's dried grass bleached blond by winter. Truly, spring is yellow. Try to find yellow babies and you'll understand.

Today, the wind howls, the water ripples and all the Elmira seasonal residents hide.

Linking up with Abracabadra for Wordless Wednesday. Photos of unseen things by Charli Mills.


  1. I've never seen baby Canada Geese ... how exciting.

    1. Somehow that seems un-Canadian to me! :-D I'll try to get better (closer) photos!

  2. Loved your explanatory post, and enjoyed seeing spring in bloom :)

    Always a pleasure to see your pix via the WW linkup!

    1. Spring is in the air for all of us! I enjoyed the other links, too!

  3. You paint beautiful images with your words, Charli, and then add to them with your pics. I love the way you describe the birds as sinking out of sight like feathered stones. You have unique ways of describing what to others would be ordinary 'chickens', pointing out the beauty that is their right.