Ducks On Ice

For the hardy ducks living on the Schiller Park pond, there is no escaping the arctic cold — but at least a bubbling device has kept the water in the center of the pond agitated and ice-free.

Why have’t these guys flown south for the winter?

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Expectant Ducks

The ducks at Schiller Park are pretty tame.  If you approach them they will waddle right over to stand at your feet, expecting that you are going to toss them some pieces of bread to gobble.

This mallard sat patiently, peering intently to see if I was going to share a morsel.  Sorry, buddy!  Not today!

Early Birds

I’ve always been an early bird.  I wake up at the crack of dawn as a matter of course.  On most Saturdays and Sundays, I try to roll over and get a bit more sleep.  This morning, though, I saw the early morning sunlight lancing through the slats on our blinds and had the opposite impulse — so I got up and got ready to head out for a walk.

IMG_2397When you’re out for an early morning stroll, there’s no need to primp.  You’re not going to run into anyone at 6 a.m.  A ratty t-shirt and old shorts will do just fine, and don’t worry about totally eliminating that bed head, either.  Drag your fingers through your sorry excuse for a coiff, try to pat down the more egregious hair eruptions, and get going.

One nice thing about the early morning hours:  during the high summer days in the Midwest, when the daytime temperatures can reach the 90s as has been the case recently, they’re one of the few reasonable walking times of the day.  This morning there was still a delightful whiff of lingering nighttime coolness in the air, not yet burned to a crisp by the blazing sun and throttled by the steamy humidity that will be coming soon enough.  Simply breathing was a pleasure, and a few deep gulps of the fresh air tasted wonderful.

As I took my lap around Schiller Park, the robins were out on the lawns, hopping and hunting for worms with their sharp-eyed, birdlike intensity.  The duck pond was swarming with ducks and geese, and some of the adventurous fowl mysteriously decided to march across the street, apparently in search of food.  For the birds among us, it was time to be out and about, even if most of the sleepy human world was still fast asleep.

This morning, it felt good to be one of the early birds.

Sunday Sunrise

IMG_0578Today Kasey and I got up early and took a very long walk around German Village and neighboring Merion Village.  We passed through Schiller Park just as the sunshine was peeking through the surrounding trees, dappling the landscape, and the ducks were starting to quack and head out onto the water.  There was a slight chill in the air, but the sunshine and bright blue sky were hints of a glorious day to come.