Posts Tagged ‘#techeproject’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
A quick video of an egret in flight on Bayou Teche, Louisiana.

What do you do with a perfect day? The temperature was just right, 70 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. Humidity low. Sunday is our day to catch up and get ready for the work week. We go to church and come home to our individual chores: cat litter, trash cans, lesson plans, laundry, grocery…and I had writing group. “You think we can squeeze in some paddle time?”

I decided that there were a few things I could put off like vacuuming, so I said a resounding, “Yes!” Perfect days are rare, so I feel we must embrace while we can. So we made a date for 4:00 PM. Jeff hosed out the canoe (ants), I grabbed the paddles, and off we went.

Heading directly into the sunset, the colors change. The old leaves on the oaks are a dark green while the new pollen fuzzies are a golden yellow. People complain about this popping of the pollen. It aggravates allergies and covers cars in a fine sprinkle of golden dust. All part of the healthy life cycle of a great live oak tree.

Pollen on the Grandmother Oak

Some, not all, of the cypress trees are showing new growth. These tiny needles are the brightest neons of green. The truest sign of spring.

cypress needles against blue sky

As we paddled home, Jeff noticed a plastic chair wedged in some tree roots across the bayou. He said, “I think that’s our lost chair.” A few storms ago, the water had risen and taken with it a plastic chair from our yard. Sure enough it was ours. Jeff managed to back the canoe next to it and grab it with his paddle. The chair was a little muddy but still in tact. I had to take a selfie to get a photo of it, so the angle and perspective are odd, but you get the idea.

Jeff rescued our long lost backyard chair.

We were home before the sun set and were treated to the appearance of a great white egret. Grace from God to praise this perfect day. Click on the video above to see this majestic bird in flight.

Great white egret

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Thirty-four days. Our wood duck hen sat for thirty-four days. We were losing hope, afraid the freeze back in March did it. On Sunday morning I got a text from a bayou neighbor, “Today is jump day for one of our houses!”

“Our duck has been sitting for 34 days. No hatching yet. I’m not sure we should keep waiting.”

“Mine sat for longer than usual.”

So I flipped over to our RIng app. Did I hear cheeping? Mother hen was eating a shell. They were hatching!

You probably want to know how many, but it’s nearly impossible to count when they are little blurry black blobs wiggling.

Monday was Jump Day. It was also a school/work day. We had to rely on the camera. Jeff set up a new Ring camera outside of the house in order to record the jump. Around 10:00, I checked the cameras. Gone. All the ducks had jumped. I missed it, but the camera did not.

As I showed the video to my student, Avalyn, she named the little ducklings. “Come on, Tiffany, you can do it!” she urged as one of the babies hesitated to jump. Avalyn also wrote a poem-song (impromptu) to celebrate Jump Day!

Wood duck, wood duck
open your shell.
Come out, come out, come out now!
Little duck, little duck,
quack with your snout.
Little duck little duck, little duck
don’t you frown
Come play in the bayou
and make no sound.

Avalyn, 2nd grade
Jump Day, 2022: Watch the lower right corner to see Momma Duck come back to get a wayward duckling.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Saturday brought warmer winds and time. My husband suggested a paddle on the bayou. Living on the Bayou Teche, we try to take opportunities to go out in the canoe. We know that too often we are too busy, or it’s too hot, or too cold, or too ___ fill-in-the-blank.

Our paddle to the East–
soft breeze,
flock of yellow-crown night herons,
waves to friends on their back porch.
Stop for a beer break, turn back toward the sunset.
sun majestic on the water,
an Eagle sighting,
simple beauty.

Eagle over Bayou Teche at sunset, photo by Margaret Simon (iPhone)

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at A Word Edgewise.

We’ve been watching our wood duck nest box for months. The first clutch did not hatch. Overcoming our disappointment, we set out new wood shavings and hoped for the best. By and by, another wood duck hen came in and laid 18 or so eggs. (Maybe it was two hens?) Nevertheless, we watched again. She seemed to be doing it all right, turning the eggs, covering them in down before leaving to feed, and sitting, sitting, sitting.

Yesterday morning my husband texted and said, “Look in the house.” (I am away from home this week.) When I looked at the video on my phone sent from the camera in the nesting box, I saw three dark blobs. At first I was afraid they were dead, but eventually realized that hatching is hard work, so they lay still.

We are both proud parents of 12 wood ducklings. Today was Jump Day. At 7:30 AM, Momma went out and called her babies. They climbed the wire mesh my husband had nailed into the wall nearest the hole. One by one they reached the hole and jumped out.

A poem will come, I’m sure. Yesterday, Laura Purdie Salas posted her 15 Words or Less image and I wrote this little ditty.

Ripple Effect

One egg hatches
then another.
Soon the whole nest
is chattering.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

Jump Day! Photo by Danny Womack

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