Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sacred Cycle of Life, and Some Other Stuff

I work on the northwest side of town in a mostly residential area. While it's a fairly suburban community, nature still manages to find a way in and stake out its claim. This is perhaps most obvious near the neighborhood's retention pond. I usually try and get out for a walk during my lunch break and I'll often do a lap around this arguably modest body of water. Depending on the time of year, I might encounter herons, ducks, Canadian Geese, swallows, turtles or groundhogs. I've seen people angling in the pond as well, which leads me to believe there must be fish of some sort in there too.

While I'm certainly no Henry David Thoreau, I'm surprised at how attuned I've become to rhythms of this little pond's life; from the arrival of the ducks to buds on the forsythia, I'm starting to internalize its seasonal patterns.

In the pond's annual cycle, nothing is quite as exciting as the arrival of the goslings and ducklings. They usually appear about the same time, and seemingly out of nowhere. I've never found a nesting site, though I've never looked particularly hard either. This year's crop appeared within the last two weeks, and I took a few pics while I was out. It's amazing how quickly these bird mature too. You can see changes in them almost daily.

Of course things also die around the pond; presumably for a variety of reasons though I suspect traffic is most often the culprit. I'm not sure what did this duck in, but it's sad to think its demise came so close to the time the ducklings hatch. If nature is indeed a cruel mistress, so too is Bilingsley Road.

All this nature doesn't mean there's not also room for some high-end man made technology. The same walk that takes me around my 20 minutes of Walden also takes me past Franklin County's most notable (and perhaps only) wind turbine.

It stands amid a sea of car dealerships just off 270 and turns (by my estimation) 70 percent of the time. I'm not sure what it powers (or for whom), but I'm always happy to see it.

To me it looks somehow like the future, and I find it not altogether incongruous with Candadian Geese, Blue Herons, and newborn goslings.


  1. Watch out - geese can be fiercely protective of their young. I've been hissed at and charged!

    Also, the wind turbine actually powers the dealership:

  2. You're right! Any other time of the year you can practically walk right up to the geese, but when they're in "protect their young mode" they have a totally different temperment. I've gotten close enough that I've been hissed at, but never so close that I've been charged.

    Apparently the parents shed their flight feathers during this time too, which I never knew. That explains all the walking around :)

    Thanks for the info on the wind turbine too. I thought that was the story behind it, but I was too lazy to look it up. I know, some librarian, right?