November 29, 2008


Seagull in Normandy
Originally uploaded by 5348 Franco.

Seymour is a fine, clean, white seagull. I know it and you would know it if you saw him. But Seymour doesn’t know it. He thinks he’s a duck.

After all, his duck mother, Lucy, hatched and raised him yet never told him he was a gull. Her nurturing nature made her gather his little egg into her own batch after she found it this past spring all alone in the marsh grass.

Lucy loved him just that way she loved her four other little ducklings. She raised them well. So did Quackers, his father. (The author acknowledges having been an unapologetic anthropomorphist since birth.)

When Quackers taught the little ones to bob for yummy food at pond bottom, Seymour bobbed just like his brothers and sisters. When Lucy taught the brood how to glide and turn in the gentle tide flow, Seymour glided and turned with grace. In every way Seymour was raised a duck. He missed only one lesson: the need to fly south when Quackers announced the day.

Today, however, on this late November date, Seymour is so alone. As he did yesterday and the day before, Seymour is floating on the tide in Hampton’s Meadow Pond. His white feathers and orange beak shine as he glides atop darkening blue water. He gently turns left and then, a moment later, deftly swings right. He is searching for his family oblivious to why they three weeks ago left Meadow Pond.

The late day sun sits low above the western horizon. Acres of golden shoreline marsh grass make Seymour and the author feel warmer than they really are. The gentle breeze that glides along with him now ripples both the grasses and the water.

Seymour is once again looking for his family. Meadow Pond is the only home he’s known. “When are they coming back?” I imagine he asks himself. “Why did they leave me?”

He glides along deeper into the pond, pausing to look in every shoreline nook. A group of four brown ducks paddle by giving him no notice. Seymour watches them and tries to join them. He wants to ask them if they know where his family is, but they move away at his each attempt. Seymour slowly, indeed dejectedly paddles away

I watched Seymour’s drama unfold daily since last spring. Poor Seymour doesn’t understand that his family flew south for the approaching winter. Soon Meadow Pond will freeze over and sleep beneath a windswept blanket of snow. Open water will appear here and there from the strong current. But most of the pond will be unrelentingly hard and cold.

Spring will come though and Seymour’s’ family will return to the pond. One day, after all of his searching and searching, Seymour will hear the Lucy’s and Quackers’ cheerful quacks of homecoming. He will be so happy.

Seymour is indeed, and for all intents and purposes a duck.

Do you think Seymour will fly south next fall when repetitive cold nights and chilly days foretell of yet another approaching winter?

April 13, 2008


it really is
Originally uploaded by perfectbound.

Because it's there. Because it's always worth it.

April 06, 2008

The Incredible Greenness of Being

shades of green
Originally uploaded by cjohnson7.

Spring is here at last.

The green tips of the crocuses arise skyward; the birds of summer have returned. They are ravenous from their journey. My bags of birdseed empty faster than bottles of good wine at a dinner party.

I've often wondered how many shades of green one could find in a day. Hundreds I would think.

In Ireland they claim over a thousand. But we Irish once in awhile, though very rarely, claim more than a few things with just a pinch of literary license. (Son, yer great-great-great grandfather was the King of Cork I'm positive).

The next warm and sunny day that finds me, I hope to take a long Spring ride on the motorcycle and head way into the countryside. There I hope to don hiking boots and take a little walkabout to count a day's worth of greenness.

Should be a lovely way to spend a day.

February 24, 2008


It's been awhile since I've written on these pages. So much happens in our lives that we sometimes need to stop if for no other reason than to watch a river flow. (Thanks, Bob Dylan, for that wonderful song.)

I hiked and snowshoed today in the White Mountain National Forest. The Pemigewasset Wilderness in northern New Hampshire offered such a glorious day. I found myself enthralled by the beauty of the frigid waters, the snowy shores, the seemingly impenatrable riparian ice.

Come summer I plan to motorcycle back to this river. Perhaps a picnic on the rocky shoreline can be enjoyed: toes dipped in the racing water, fingers wrapped around fine bread and cheese, and maybe even a little taste of Amorone wine to round out the perfect meal.