On Golden Pond

Against a slate November sky, ceanothus blossoms wait in vain for bumblebees to come tickle their blue petals. Most of the bumblebees have passed away. The surviving bumblebee gynes have all gone to bed, burrowing into the ground to pass the winter months in peace, until they wake in the spring to bring bumblebees back into the world. Meanwhile, noisy Stellar Jays make frequent forays into the apple trees to peck at the few remaining fruit.

The first of November solves a mystery. Where are some of the hens laying their eggs now? At the end of last week the daily egg count dropped precipitously. I found their new nesting spot behind a bale of hay.

By late afternoon, the clouds break enough to bathe the pond in gold. The towering cottonwoods are at peak color. On days like this, when I make tofu, I should call it “Golden Tofu”.

My gardening companions always have plenty to say. They would prefer I spend all day in the garden. They wouldn’t mind me sleeping with them either. When they hear me come out of the house, they quack, “Hey, you, you’re coming to see us, aren’t you?”

Ducks are the comedians of the bird world. They seem to tell each other jokes and laugh all day. The world is a much better place than we can imagine. A handful of ducks will show you that.

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