Friday, January 15, 2010

Feeling Ducky

Reflections on finding a rare Harlequin Duck on the Farmington River, as told

Feeling Ducky

Though the winter cold made me shiver,
and quake, and shake, and even quiver,
I went birding down by my favorite river,
for I was feeling lucky.

I like to visit this pretty place
where time slows down to a gentler pace,
where I often find ornithological grace,
for here, I often get lucky.

At the bend of the river the water slows;
sometimes it riffles, sometimes it flows;
I like to watch it, however it goes.
I always see something lucky.

Amid icy edges and tiny ice floes,
ducks, geese, and mergansers repose.
Some eat, some preen, and some even doze.
They don’t mind if it’s mucky.

This day, I played “Duck, duck, goose,”
scanning the flock to try to produce
a rarity in the rushing sluice:
Looking for something lucky.

Duck, duck, goose– duck, merganser–
Hey, there’s a duck that’s like a dancer!
And right away I knew the answer:
Yes, today I was lucky!

I couldn’t believe my great good luck:
I’d found a rare inland Harlequin Duck!
An elegant bird of grace and pluck.
Oh yes, I sure felt lucky!

The Harlequin Duck’s a beautiful bird;
though its spots and dashes may look absurd,
it’s the delight of every real “bird nerd.”
It makes any birder feel lucky.

Another thing about the Harlequin:
It’s agile and active. It makes me grin
to watch it dive, and bob, and spin!
This little bird is plucky!

Playful, like the river otter,
it dove in the rushing river water
(though in winter it usually prefers saltwater).
(It doesn’t think larvae are yucky.)

I called the experts to spread the word.
Soon, people were flocking to see the bird
in this unusual spot where it had occurred.
Lots of them got lucky!

Lots of birders braved the chill
by the river’s edge and the old grist mill
to look for the duck. They got a thrill!
They went home feeling lucky.

Though it was hard to share my “patch,”
this duck is such a good “list” catch
that I’ve been sending a daily dispatch
so more folks can get lucky.

Three days later, I’m floating on air.
I can’t believe that duck was there!
How wonderful to find something so rare.
I guess I’m feeling…ducky.

© 2011 Quodlibet. Dissemination, re-use, or duplication prohibited except by express permission of the author.I pay attention and I will find you if you cite, republish, or use my work without credit or without attribution.

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