Monday, April 29, 2013

Owed to waterfowl

photo of Canada gees on pothole
© harrington
Thanks for stopping by. I hope, when you're reading this, that it's after you've finished enjoying this beautiful weather and not instead of being outside in it. In fact, although I shouldn't say this, I wouldn't be terribly upset if you held off on reading this until we're back in the wet, unseasonably cold weather forecast for later this week. Did you have a good weekend? If you're a regular reader, you know that I did. If you're not, scroll down (after this piece) and see why I say that. Since we are now down to only two days left of National Poetry Month (for this year), I'm going to finish my Prairie Suite by sharing the last stanza.
                      Would you wade
Ponds and potholes left by
Olden glaciers’ graves midst rolling hills
Trysting places for waterfowl and shorebirds
Hidden in plain sight
Lying summer-still in the
Susurrating prairie
Minnesota's western border and southwestern corner is part of prairie pothole country. I've hunted ducks around Morris and geese at Laq Qui Parle. Blue-winged teal streak past so fast an inexperienced hunter can go through boxes of shells (steel shot only) to get a limit of a handful of ducks. Being on a hillside at Lack Qui Parle when 80,000 Canada geese decide to leave for breakfast by flying out the side you're not on turns into a non-consumptive use of wildlife but a truly stunning thrill. It made me wish I'd been around during the "old days" when the skies were regularly full of waterfowl. It may have been William Cullen Bryant who first highlighted waterfowl as totem. We are very, very fortunate to be able to count wetlands and waterfowl among the treasures in our Minnesota, at least for the next few years. Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.