May Babies

Female black-bellied whistling duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) and ducklings

The first time I noticed this mother duck, she was resting on a bank at the Lafitte’s Cove pond on Galveston Island with all seven of her ducklings tucked beneath her wings.

After a time, as she led them to the water for a swim, the father arrived to stand guard while they splashed, chased one another, and fed on the greens just under the surface of the water.

I found it hard to photograph the active ducklings in a single group because of their constant scattering and diving, but even a single duckling makes a worthy subject, especially when it seems to have crowned itself Queen (or perhaps King) of the May.

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

Poetic Praise For Pyrrhopappus

Texas’s native “dandelion” ~ Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus

 

The Dandelion’s pallid tube
Astonishes the Grass,
And Winter instantly becomes
An infinite Alas —
The tube uplifts a signal Bud
And then a shouting Flower, —
The Proclamation of the Suns
That sepulture is o’er.
                                                    
                              ~ Emily Dickinson

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

The Beauty of Bud Break

Last year’s tendril, this year’s growth

While vineyard owners worry and fuss, the wild grapes (Vitis spp.) twisted around old sheds and roadside fences begin their yearly cycle without assistance.

By early summer, their full-grown leaves will hide everything from windmill supports to trees. By late summer, their fruit — beloved of so many birds and other creatures — will have been simmered into jelly or crushed into wine for human consumption after the leaves have gone. 

The first sign of renewed growth, commonly known as bud break, is marvelous to behold. While not as obvious as spunky dandelions or vast fields of bluebonnets, the tiny buds emerging from their vine are equally delightful.

 

Comments always are welcome.