May 27, 2008

The Little Things

Someone once said “God is in the details.” I personally don’t believe in Her, but I do know how to keep my eyes open for the signs of Her handiwork. Just in case.

This morning I stopped the bike at the ATM (not the one with the crisp British accent but the mute one) and while I fiddled with trying to fetch my wallet out of my slacks while still wearing gloves (never an easy feat) my gaze was drawn to the side.

Ordinarily the only thing I see to my right when at that particular ATM is the back ends of a number of new Toyota vehicles. There’s a sizeable car lot there beside the bank, and the edge of their lot abuts a twenty foot wide grassy verge with a sort of low spot in it’s midst and a few elderly pecan trees shading the bank and the parking lot. Well, this morning it included two other items of interest: a pair of Mallard ducks.

I don’t know where they came from; there is no pond or lake nearby, not even a wide damp place but there they were, calmly waddling across the green grass toward the car lot in that sort of reserved, self-assured way that only birds in general can walk. They were quite a lovely pair; he resplendent in his waistcoat of green and grey, she quietly dressy in her brown and ivory spots. Unhurriedly they picked their way across the grass, up onto the pale concrete of the auto lot and began, so far as I could tell, to shop for a new car.

They looked at a few models but I think they’d already mostly decided on what interested them before they arrived. I can only guess that they finally attracted the attention of a salesman, because they were looking pretty seriously at a metallic grey Xb, one of those boxy little SUV things that Scion/Toyota makes. He seemed pretty impressed with the valve stems but I think it was the little Mrs. who decided the deal in the end, as it offered a lot of room in the back for storage of eggs, ducklings, and what have you.

Plus Scion offers (as a dealer-installed option) waterproof floor mats.


Clowncar said...

I love your ability to pluck natural details out of an urban environment - ducks, lacewings, blackbirds.

Gordo said...


Every year, a pair of mallards has a nest near where I work. The same ones every year? Who knows. What I do know is that three years ago, after the hatching, when mam decided that the babies were ready for the water, she started marching them across the campus towards Lake Ontario. Someone spotted tehm and called campus security, who promptly arrived and stopped traffic so they could make their trek unimpeded. :-D

I love teh way nature bends us ter her own will sometimes.

Irrelephant said...

CC, I grew up around nature much more than around urban environments, so I think I'm just more aware of living things than I am of buildings and streets. I have, however, always loved the intersection of the two--where Nature pushes back specifically, and reminds us naked pink monkeys that we aren't the force to be dealt with, SHE is. My first forays into photography (on film) almost always dealt with those intersections, specifically when Nature was winning.

Gordo, I'm sure it probably is. My father used to keep Mallards, and even when they finally flew off one year (he was too sick by then to tend them) they returned for a few years afterwards, even though the fence was down and the pond long since dried up. See my comment to CC--I agree wholeheartedly! We are so good at fooling ourselves...we need to remember that we're nothing more or less than one more creature on the planet.

Just because we can communicate in sentences and make art and blog doesn't mean we're any better than the granddaddy longlegs I carried around for a while the day before yesterday, or the turtle I pushed across the street and into the grass on my way home this evening. (I hate seeing turtles get hit on the road, even Red Ear Snapping ones.)

Mona Buonanotte said...

Oh the bad pun I long to make...ducks...bills...ATM...see where I'm goin'?

When I was a kid, growing up in the country, my dad let my brother and me raise a couple ducks. They were great pets, not cuddlers, tho, but we developed a nice relationship with them (we named them, in true kid fashion, Donald and Daisy). Everything was going great, until one New Years Day when my dad wanted duck for dinner. (shudder) I can't eat that meat to this day.

Irr, I love your descriptions in this post. Wonder if they got good financing?

Vulgar Wizard said...

Did they pay cash?