One of the things I love the most about where I live is easy access to open space. There’s a bike/walking path behind my house. I can go out the back gate and be on my way. Turning left, I’m heading east. One path will eventually lead downtown and to my office, another, with a southward jog, visits more open space and a tiny manmade pond. It’s small, with a tinier man made island, and despite its small size, it does draw its share of waterbirds, mostly geese and ducks.
It’s nesting season, and among the geese are all sorts of raucous displays and posturing. The ducks are quieter, and there are a few pairs of mallards. The other day, I found them very entertaining as they were spending almost as much time inverted as they were atop the water. At times, they seemed synchronized, and like synchronized swimmers, I could see their feet paddling, barely under the surface, and at times they would rotate. They were in the shallows, so I suspect this position was for feeding, but I don’t know. Could just be play, or a courting behavior. They why doesn’t really matter, but it sure was a pleasure and mood changer to watch, and somehow it helps me keep my own life in perspective. And while I am a strong swimmer and did a bit of synchronized swimming as a child, I am really grateful to not be practicing in cold pond water!