Friday, November 23, 2007

Feathered friends


We took a hike this morning out on the marsh near our home, where the waste water plant meets the wetlands meets the bay. A bunch of birdwatchers were already out on the path, equipped with binoculars and khaki clothing. One woman had a spyglass mounted on a tripod and was closely inspecting some pelicans that had come to roost near the pond. They looked like swans from a distance, with extremely white feathers and bulky bodies. The rest of the birds, a wide variety of ducks, grebes, gulls, cormorants, and so forth, were all sharing the area with glee, ducking and fishing and preening themselves. A flock of some tiny birds gathered on the pond's shore. When we walked past, they arose in a glorious pattern of flashing brown and white underbellies. Goofy looking shorebirds walked upon their bright orange stilt-like legs, with their knees bending backwards.

None of them minded the others. They all knew there are plenty bugs and fish to go around, and that when they tuck their heads under their wings to sleep, no other of their kind would be the one to disturb them. Don't you wish we got along as well as they do?

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