Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Month of Thanks Giving

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving this month, though giving thanks can happen any month, any day. Today I’m especially grateful I’m not a Wood Duck. Let me explain.

If you watched Nature’s “An Original DUCKumentary” last night on PBS*, you already know what I mean. It’s not the low survival rate of “Woodies” that I’m grateful not to contend with. (Nearly every animal larger than the tiny ducklings—eagles, herons, foxes, turtles, even fish—find them to be tasty treats.) Would I were a Wood Duck, I wouldn’t get past my second day of life—the day each diminutive, flightless Woodie follows its mother’s voice to the water.

First step? Climb out of the nest, which is in a tree cavity, and jump to the ground from a height of up to 89 feet. This is what inspires my gratitude, for I would be the first Woodie left behind.

I don’t have the kind of courage it takes to jump 89 feet into the unknown. Or maybe it’s faith I lack. Whatever. I simply don’t have what it takes to be a Wood Duck.

Makes me happy to be human.

* If you missed “An Original DUCKumentary,” try watching it online. The ducks are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, the footage often borders on extraordinary, and Paul Giamatti is a terrific narrator.

[Top photo by Nature’s Poetry; bottom photo from The Inn at Bowman’s Hill.]

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