Friday, February 3, 2012

Wood Duck

The following verses are taken from "Wood Duck", a poem written by Isaac McLellan and published in Poems of the Rod and Gun (1886):

Most beauteous of all the race 
That skim the wave or soar in space, 
With plumage fairer than the rays
The bird-of-paradise displays, 
A mottled purple gloss'd with green, 
All colors in the rainbow seen; 
No tropic bird of Indian skies 
May rival thy imperial dyes. 

                            (Click photo to enlarge)

Fair are thy haunts, O bird that glows 
With hues of violet and rose,— 
By lakelet, by transparent stream, 
Fair as the landscape of a dream, 
Fair with the drooping groves that throw 
Their shadows o'er the current's flow; 
Fair with the bordering slopes that lave 
Their grasses in the crystal wave,— 
The crystal wave reflecting back 
The sky-cloud drifting on its track, 
Where morn and eve enfold their wing 
Celestial, and the bluebirds sing. 

This morning was my first close sighting of a wood duck.  Any chance to see this beautiful duck, with its unusual colors, bizarre facial pattern, and swept back crest, is a gift, and when you can combine that with early morning light and such pretty reflections in the water, you can't beat it for a great start to the day!

A few other beauties:

Great Blue Heron (coming in for a landing)

Mallard Duck (female)

Mallard Duck (male)

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