Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Gift

Tuesday was what I refer to as a bleh day.

For various reasons, my mood was not at its best and I decided to take a walk, and hopefully clear my mind. As usual, my camera joined me.


I wandered over to a park which sits about a mile from my front door. It has a man-made lake which attracts several kinds of water fowl throughout the seasons. I've posted before about seagulls, cormorants, herons and a swan.

Making my way along the path, I found nothing of particular interest to photograph, so I just sat for a bit at the side of the pond.

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I noticed a bit of organic debris in the water, which reminded me of a some sort of long-bearded wizard or troll about to do a Tarzan-like swing on a vine.

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Birds flitted about, landed and left before my finger could even reach the shutter but the day was warm, the sounds peaceful, and I could begin to feel myself relax in this tranquil setting.

Glancing down at the ground beside me, I noticed a feather.

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It was rather plain, but I picked it up and put it in my camera case. Frank has me in the habit of keeping found feathers. You should see how many he has. I took it as a sign to continue on around the lake.

When I found myself on the other side of the lake, I decided to pause once again. I could see a family of geese out for a swim and I hoped to get a few shots as they passed by.

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Little did I know that I'd be in for a treat.

As the goslings and their parents swam along, they took a sudden left turn and headed toward me.

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Unconcerned with my presence, one of the adults turned to the crew and seemingly took a head count before...

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.. one by one...

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they stepped up onto the shore...

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.. just a few feet away from me.

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They fluffed and groomed..

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.. and then the young all settled in ...

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...for a mid-afternoon nap, while the adults took sentry duty nearby.

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I watched for a while, speaking to them occasionally. One seemed particularly alert to my voice and cocked its head when I talked to it, much like Benny does.

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Their nearness was like a tonic for my mood. After I'd taken in my fair dose, I thanked them for the beautiful gift of their presence, and bid them farewell.

It was a fine day after all.

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53 comments:

Tom said...

Hilary - I haven't commented on any recent posts of yours but always read each and every one you write. I just love the pictures you take and this is yet another great collection! Wonderful stuff!

Frank Baron said...

:)

Maggie May said...

You have a way with little creatures, don't you? They seem to warm to you.
Great pictures, really lovely and I do think the feather looks good there!
Enjoyed the walk with you and I expect you felt a good deal better for it too. It is surprising just how much walking helps to recharge one's batteries and if you take a camera...... that is even better!

Protege said...

You attract animals Hilary and that is a good thing.;) I have no idea how you can get so close to the birds; not just that but also the fact that your proximity turns into such stunning images.
It certainly was a good day.;)
xo

CrazyCris said...

Loved the macro on the feather, great shot!

Are those Canadian geese? Adorable the little ones! :o)

Andrea said...

Ah, you were meant to take that walk. That little family was just waiting for you so they could brighten your day!

Tabor said...

You must send out the important vibes for the animals. They trust you You told a wonderful story with these photos. Well done!

Sandi McBride said...

I should have such bleh days! You are a tease you know! Lovely photos thanks for sharing such a spectacular time!
Sandi

Pat - Arkansas said...

Lovely! A true gift, indeed. Thanks for sharing those special moments.

Shammickite said...

Great pictures, as usual, Hilary! Those little goslings will soon be getting their adult plumage. It just shows that you should always take your camera with you on a walk in the park, even on a dull day. You never know what delightful images you can come home with.
P.S. I'm back from B'ville, new baby is gorgeous and I had lots of Nana/baby cuddling time, and the new parents are on top of the world! Life is good.

Suldog said...

What can I say to you, concerning your posts, that I haven't already said? Always a pleasure, wonderful photography. You are one of my "must see" blogs, every day. Thank you!

ellen abbott said...

Thanks Hillary. What a wonderful treat.

Barry said...

You're right that was a gift.

And your photos were a gift to us. At least I think they just made my day!

Leah J. Utas said...

Your swinging debris shot was just wonderful. And you'll never go wrong with goslings.

Rain said...

How nice! I loved seeing them napping! The geese around here won't let you near their young!

MaggieGem said...

As always, a stop by your blog is a great pleasure!

Daryl said...

Oh how sweet and downy ... clearly you are a duckling whisperer!

SandyCarlson said...

These are really wonderful. So lively!

JC said...

What a wonderful blessing. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Kat said...

Now you know why patience is a virtue! What a treasure! WOW!
Those sleeping babies are just too doggone cute!!!

Spiritual Journey said...

Great shots! You seem to attract nature's gifts as much as you love them.

UmmFarouq said...

So beautiful. I want to reach out and touch a fluffy goose. :)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Awwwww, what a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing! I love all of the photos, especially the last one.

Lover of Life said...

The goslings are so sweet. I love the way one of them cocked his head when you talked, and how they put their faces all together for a nap. Nature is so wonderful. What a world we live in!

Dianne said...

how wonderfully odd - I took a limp around the little lake in the town's main park yesterday

I was feeling very small and way too sorry for myself

I almost didn't the camera as I do when I don't feel at one with the world - nothing like wallowing rather than creating ;)

and one by one all sorts of creatures stopped by - little sparrows wriggling in and out of the farm's fence (the town has a tiny farm) and a mallard just kept prancing around me - as if to say, look how fancy I am

I'll share the photos soon

I love the cocked head listening to you - that is so touching :)

Kerri said...

Oh what a beautiful way to lift your mood! Thanks so much for sharing!!

scarlethue said...

It's it funny how a small moment like that can alter the mood of a whole day?

Bub tilts his head at me when I talk too. I want so badly to get a video of it! That, and his loud yawn, always makes me laugh.

Bubblewench said...

Sure does sound like a fine day to me.

Mental P Mama said...

They are so precious. So sweet in their naptime....

kcinnova said...

What a gift, indeed! When I saw the photo of the downy gosling tilting its head toward your voice, I immediately pronounced you a goose whisperer. ;) And the sweet sleepiness of that gaggle of goslings is so very precious.
You have an incredible "eye" for surprises in nature. The water wizard is impressive!

Reb said...

Lovely photos again Hilary. I am glad they came along to brighten your day.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I just adore those furry babies. When they grow up and crap all over, eh, not so much. But OH those are precious Hilary.

the Bag Lady said...

Wonderful photos, Hilary! The goslings are so darned cute, and I agree with some of the other commenters, you are a goose whisperer. :)
The Tarzan debris was cool, too!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

le babies!

Bogey said...

Hilary, it is usually when we find ourelves Spiritually disconnected that we are handed a prescription from Mother Nature. I am happy to see that you had it filled and are now re-connected!

ds said...

I love that little cocked head. The others are right: you are a goose whisperer (or perhaps a general animal whisperer & can communicate with all furred and feathered friends). Feather was definitely a good omen. So glad you 'followed' it!

CrazyCris said...

I know you've probably received tons of these, but I wanted to share a blogging award I just got with you because every time I come over here your images bring a smile on my face!
cheers!

steviewren said...

How serendipitous! My favorite photo is of the napping goslings.

Marlene said...

what a lovely post.. I too have found that nature can lift my moods...animals have a way of making us feel everhting will be ok after all!

Hilary said...

✿ Thanks kindly, Tom. I haven't been out to your blog too often these days, but I will soon. Thanks for the kind words. :)

✿ (: Frank.

✿ Thanks, Maggie May. And better still if I remember to recharge my camera's batteries! Thanks for the very kind words. :)

✿ Thanks kindly, Protege. The neat part was that I didn't venture close to them - they wandered in close to where I was standing. I felt very lucky. Thanks always for your kind words, dear friend. :)

✿ Thanks, CrazyCris. Yes they are Canada Geese. Lovely, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ That sure sound to be about right, Andrea. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks very much for such kind words, Tabor. Much appreciated. :)

✿ Thank you, Sandi. The day had indeed started off bleh, but evolved very nicely. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks kindly, Pat. Much appreciated. :)

✿ Thank you, Shammie. I am almost never without my camera when I'm out walking. It only stays behind if it's pouring rain. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time with your new grandson. I bet you can still smell the baby smell when you think of him. :)

✿ Thanks so very much for your always-kind words, Suldog. They mean a lot to me. :)

✿ Thank you, Ellen. I'm glad you enjoyed it.:)

✿ Thanks kindly, Barry. And your comment in turn, made my day. :)

✿ Thanks very much, Leah. I'm glad you liked that shot. And you're so right about the goslings. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Rain. It's a busy park and they're quite used to people milling about, but I've never had a family of geese or ducks settle down near to me before either. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks very kindly, Maggie Gem. Much appreciated. :)

✿ Thanks very much, Daryl.. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. ;)

✿ Thank you, Sandy. They were fun critters. :)

✿ Thanks, JC. I'm glad to be able to. :)

Hilary said...

¶| Thanks, Kat. They truly are. I felt quite gifted that day. :)

¶| Thank you, SJ. I hope that's true. I quite like the idea. :)

¶| Thanks, Umm Farouq. It was mildly tempting but I was happy just watching them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

¶| Thanks very much for the kind words, Cheffie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

¶| Thanks L of L. They were quite endearing to watch. That alert little guy in particular. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

¶| Well, Dianne. It seems we both got a bit of the same medicine yesterday. I'm glad nature restored some of your resolve too. I know it doesn't much help with the pain, but it sure can lighten the load when our outlook is better. I do hope you can feel better soon. Thanks always for stopping by and for leaving such great comments. :)

¶| Thank you, Kerri. I was happy to share. Thanks for the visit. :)

¶| Scarlethue it's those moments that really make the day. I hope you'll share that video once you capture it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

¶| Indeed it was, Bubblewench. Thanks for dropping by. :)

¶| They truly are, MPM. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

¶| Thanks so much for your always-kind words KC, and for your generous pronouncement. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I sure enjoyed the experience. Thanks for the visit. :)

¶| Thanks very much, Reb. I couldn't disagree with you there. :)

¶| Thanks for coming around to visit, MamaGeek. I'm wondering how many people noticed all of that crap in the foreground of the photos. Luckily I wasn't sitting in it like they were. Thanks for stopping by. :)

¶| Thanks very much, Baggie. I'm glad you liked the post and that I have your "goose whisperer" vote. :)

¶| Oui, Gary! :)

¶| Thanks very kindly, Bogey. I think you're exactly right about that. Thanks for stopping by. :)

¶| Thanks so much for the kind words, DS. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and I agree that the feather was a good omen. Thanks for the visit. :)

¶| Thanks very much, Cris. I'll be around to check that out in the morning .. hopefully. :)

¶| Thank you kindly, Steviewren. It was indeed serendipitous! :)

¶| Thanks, Marlene. You're so right about that. Thanks for stopping by. :)

photowannabe said...

Delightful. I'm glad the sweet creatures and their feathers could recharge your batteries.
We all need that now and then.
Wonderful pictures and a real serendipity moment.

Michele said...

Awww... I just love love love love the Canadian geese and you know I'm gonna say that! A great story.

Abe Lincoln said...

You have a magnificent collection of photos in this post. I liked the one with the eyes closed in sleep. Very nice.

You might like to read the story about us almost moving to Alaska...

Homesteading in Alaska

jinksy said...

What a beautiful collection of unexpected joys on a bleh day - I especially like the Tarzan Twig!

Seamus said...

Sometimes it takes just a few moments being still to bring a smile into focus!

The raccoon babies in the previous post are adorable! :)

Indrani said...

Lovely shots again, Hilary! I enjoy seeing them and also your thoughts about them. These sights can cheer up all. :)

lavenderlady said...

Some days are just like that. You think they are blah, and turn in to golden.

Hilary said...

* Thanks very kindly, Sue. You're right, it was exactly what I needed. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

* Thanks, Michele. I do know how you feel about the Canada Goose. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

* Thanks very much, Abe. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I hope to read that post of yours soon. Thanks kindly for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Jinksy. Much appreciated. :)

* You're quite right, Seamus. Thanks so much for your very kind words. :)

* Thanks very kindly, Indrani. Much appreciated. :)

* Welcome, Lavendarlady. And thanks very much for your kind words. Golden, indeed. :)

Woman in a Window said...

A tonic for the mood, for sure. Who can be cranky when granted such a gift! Things like this are gifts, of that I'm a firm believer.

Country Girl said...

Absolutely loved this post Hilary! You are a kindred spirit, in the fact that nature makes you feel better just as it does me. (And so many others, I'm sure).
What luck you had that day!

And I enjoyed the photo at the end, too, where you put the found feather in the place of honor. Oh, so good!

The Things We Carried said...

I so get this. Baby animals are always a balm to my soul. Watching a mother and her babes is healing in its own way. Love the last shot today :)!

Hilary said...

• I totally agree, WIAW. I couldn't have put it better myself. Thank you. :)

• Thanks so much for the kind words, CG. I do agree. I find a lot of similarities between what you write and how I feel. Thanks for that. :)

• Thanks very much, MT. The mother and child bond sure is powerful, isn't it. Thanks always for the kind words. :)