Under a bleak mid autumn sky the small pool bit with a blackness that held my mood. Deep shadow mingled with dark waters to conjure a most sombre end of day atmosphere. Sleeping under the still surface, countless reflected end of life trees rippled and swayed like living watercolours.
Ducks laughed mockingly and a solitary woodpecker exclaimed his disdain. A magpie threaded through the air next to his crow familiar, the landscape understanding the relationship between the two distinct species forming a bond of unknown tether, and broadcasting it in the birch puzzles.
A draft of jackdaws split the melancholy with their dizzy petulance as a jay couple argued in the decaying brambles. It’s certainly a day for crows of all kinds.
Over the pool a duck rent the cloudscape, a smudge of arrow cleaving through the night stilled waters. Black cormorant joined the dance, alighting in the soiled birches of her nighttime wet dreams, shining oil in thinning foliage.
But the ripples! They caught me. Duck driven, darkly drawn curves that wandered in circles and pirouettes across the needle cold shallows, meeting and mixing in a dance of chaos shapes and geometric mysteries. Duck breast Chevrons played for time before chasing themselves out of steam against the emerging concentric rings of a dabbling drake. Beak drips traced an ephemeral plip into the simmer of webfoot ripples.
As golden light eased through the waxy limbs of the far bank I drunk in the calm of winter’s coming and swam in the imaginal realms of the dusking hour. A sunset sprawled her gifts across a waiting sky but the ripple dance held me firm, the pool now silent apart from the peep peep contact call of the mallard ladies who gently nosed their way through the flotsam of this autumn day.