The Pond

The bird stands by the pond, and I don’t know what kind of a bird it is.

The pond is at the end of an irrigation ditch, and that little body of water is popular with the feathered population.

I see them sitting out there in the water, and I see them hanging around the ditches and fields: fleet roadrunners, burrowing owls, duck, geese, egrets, blue herons, and best of all, magnificent soaring raptors. I don’t know if they are hawks or falcons.

The bird by the pond is about 18 inches tall. It has a short body and long neck. It is brown. I haven’t seen a bird like this before.

bird and pond

Out there by the pond, I see them hang around. Webbed-footed birds float on the water. I see quail scurry along the ditches and run through the fields. I see a quail mother fake injury to sacrifice herself for her fleeing young.

I see four ugly buzzards that take a couple of weeks to devour the carcass of what appears to be a dead porcupine.

I don’t know if it is a porcupine. The smell keeps me at a distance. Not to mention, I don’t want to disturb the vultures that so diligently feast on the shrinking rodent.

Yes, there is beauty out there at the pond and along the artery that feeds it.

The pond always has water. Occasionally, the pond gets thirsty, but then a great burst of rain or flowing irrigation fills it again.

The pond holds enough water that migratory birds of all feathers make it a point to drop by and float awhile. At least until they see me.


Out there by the open fields where farmers grow their crops, there is beauty, even in the carcass of a porcupine and the ugly birds that feed upon it.

David Madrid

Email: David Madrid