Original Oil on Panel - 2-7/8 x 8 inches
The slightest ripple in the water could've been from many things. Perhaps from a turtle poking its head up. Maybe from a bird flying overhead. You know. Nature called. Or, quite possibly from the sneaky Sora, stalking the banks of the pond, under cover. That was my best guess really, because it wasn’t a muskrat. No. Muskrat ripples are intermittent, and sometimes strong. Heck, muskrats sometimes splash. Not that often, but it happens, usually at the shoreline. None of that was going on, though. Those ripples were constant. I had considered dragonflies, but that didn’t make sense. The ripples were too big. Surely not frogs. There was something in the water, and I just couldn’t figure it out. I kept thinking a Sora.
So I waited.
Eventually, this little diving duck swam out of the reeds on the far side. It probably had taken cover long ago, when it first saw me. Surprisingly, it swam out into the open, sipped water, preened, snoozed and after a while began diving for critters. It caught at least one. There were legs hanging out of its beak. Grasshopper? Nice. At one point, it swam by the monster-sized wasp nest that hung over the water. Yikes. I wouldn’t have. Didn’t seem to matter though. More than anything, it was keeping an eye on me, sitting in my chair. I know that from looking at all of my photographs. For the merganser, maybe it had just experienced its first human sighting ever. You never know.
My first encounter with a juvenile Hooded Merganser, September 8, 2019.