In search of story

March 25.20: Coping


The pond always helps me cope. As a body of water, it couldn’t be humbler: a mere retention pond, gunky in the summer, lacking tide and horizon, held in entirety by a few back yards, it is little more than a puffed-up puddle. But I watch it with growing respect and affection. Occasionally I have been weak in the head and have presumed to know it. And then it teaches me I don’t know much.

Case in point: two days ago I spotted what I thought were ducks. Suddenly they were gone and the water was empty. Then they reappeared some place else. I was hallucinating ducks?

Naturally I ran for my camera with its zoom lens. With great ado, I caught a close-up but before I could focus and take a picture they were gone again. Only a flutter of the water remained.

To make an excruciatingly long story short, I ended up with a million bad photos and some time on Google. Now I know there is such a thing as diving ducks. Like quacking submarines: now you see them, now you don’t! And they have  wonderful names! I believe mine are buffleheads. I want them to be buffleheads because I want to be able to say I have buffleheads.

I do try to avoid the word “cute,” but I can’t when describing these. As they paddled toward me, they looked like the cutest salt and pepper shakers I ever did see. Next to the mallards, mere toys.

I hope they come back.



8 thoughts on “March 25.20: Coping

  1. In this time of isolation and coping with the pandemic, a visit from these cute guys would make me smile too and run for the camera. You did good. 🙂 White landscape as far as I can see, BUT the sun is shining so that is always a boost. I did a 5:45 a.m. grocery run this morning with the rest of the old crowd. Definitely not my choice of times to shop but I was able to get enough to keep us going another week or two. Grateful – I’m grateful for that, but I will need a nap. Stay safe, friend.

    • A nap for sure! To be up at that time is one thing, but to be up and grocery-shopping is another thing entirely. And in a white world? Say it isn’t so! Here it is pea soup! I can see the houses on the other side of the pond, but not clearly. How appropriate. I can’t seem to see much clearly these days. Very glad to hear you have supplies for a couple weeks longer. You stay safe, too, friend!

  2. I live for bufflehead sightings! Well, hyperbole, but how lucky are you!! And thank you for sharing! Great shots!!

    • Thank you, thank you! I join you now in watching for buffleheads, and I hope they never learn how I’ve lived so long without even hearing about them — they’d be appalled.

      • Indeed! I only looked them up a few years ago when I spotted some on the rolling Atlantic. There is surely little worse than appalled buffleheads!

  3. No kidding — that’s not even easy to say! So do you think these really are buffleheads? I’d be excited if so! And you saw them on the Atlantic? As in ocean? They’re even small in this little pond; I can’t imagine them in the ocean.

  4. Yes, definitely buffleheads – females, I’d say, but possibly immature males. I’m surprised you never saw them here in California. They are fairly common – we have them here in the San Elijo Lagoon, and you can almost always spot them down in the San Diego River Channel across from Sea World. Welcome to the world of birdwatching!

    • I wouldn’t doubt that I missed them in CA because I was always blown away by the ocean; I never got used to seeing it and that was all I could see! I missed a lot, I bet. But then I can miss a lot even without the ocean. Thanks for the confirmation on this — I am keeping a more watchful eye on the pond now, in hopes of seeing them again. I’d like to consider them a good omen even if they don’t come back.

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