Saturday, May 5, 2012

Nature-Struck in Illinois

A Lull reader sent me this pic of her recent unexpected encounter with Nature:

The duck couple visited her as she enjoyed her lunch on a Chipotle patio (proving that we’re never far from Nature—we’re just not always aware of it). After leaving her table for a moment, she returned to find one of the ducks missing.

Then her mind churned with worry, for in that brief span of time she’d spent watching the feathered pair, she had become connected to them. Responsible to them. She knew the ducks had to cross a busy road to return to their habitat and fretted over the missing duck’s safety. Was he car-savvy? Would drivers brake for the drake? Could he make it without injury?

Oh. The Lull reader’s thoughts expanded enough for her to realize ducks can fly when they choose to, making the busy roadway (and the reader’s fretting) a nonissue. She chided herself for her initial faulty thinking.

But I have news for her: She was right to worry.

Every few days here in the Bluegrass, I see a robin walking down a sidewalk or meandering across a street. No flying, not even a flutter to show they were thinking about it. And that day I left the library with way too many books, I had to stop my car for two geese to cross the road, although “cross” implies a directness that I believe was foreign to these birds. They sauntered side-by-side, then moved apart to continue in single file. Upon reaching my lane, the lead goose turned his head to the left and proceeded to follow the reach of his neck, ultimately walking in a tight circle while the partner goose caught up. After they made it across my lane, they continued their stroll down a different street.

Having wings is no indication birds will engage them. So, dear Lull reader, no need to chide yourself. Your concern was warranted. And I thank you for sharing your Nature awareness.

[Duck couple in bottom pic were taking a walk near the dog beach in Chicago.]

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