Tuesday, August 15, 2006

No ducks

Today was very hot, but I went for a bicycle ride anyway. I did not go to the big river, where there is not enough shade, but to the small river. I was hoping to see some of my feathered friends, but there were no birds except a few crows and pigeons.

At the small river I met an old man who assured me that there was a duck family further downstream, with four ducklings, so I decided to follow the river downstream to see if I could find them. I didn't have to cycle very long before I was pretty well lost, but that didn't matter. I was not in a hurry. It was hot, though, so I bought some tea from a vending machine and put that in my basket.

After a while the river became larger where another, even smaller river joined it. I had not seen any duck family, and could not follow the large river after that because it was lined with factories and there was no road or bicycle path. I turned back and followed the other smaller river back upstream, instead.

As I cycled, this smaller river started looking less and less like a river and more and more like slow-moving sludge. It was a very industrial area, with factories all around, so you can imagine my surprise when I got home and saw that the one picture of the river I had taken had no buildings in it at all. It was a part of the river where a little bridge crossed and then went nowhere. From the bridge I got a good view of the disgusting water. I also got a good view of the only water bird I saw all day. I do not know what this little heron was doing so far from civilized bird society and clean water. Perhaps he had been exiled, or maybe he was just feeling brave. In any case there he was, adding a decorative touch to the dirty little river.

Looking down from the bridge I got a birds-eye view of the rubbish down there. It looked like people used it as a dumping spot, probably because of the greenery providing cover. There was a bicycle, but no ducks.

That was the only part of this stretch of the river not surrounded by concrete and factories. The greenery was not looked after near the bridge, as you can see. But just a little further on from there I came across a tiny, rather straggly bit of land beside the river that had been cultivated at some time. It was like a little oasis in an industrial wasteland, and whoever had cultivated it had planted sunflowers and then, it seemed, abandoned them. Many of the sunflowers were dying, but a few were still going strong.

I stopped at this spot to drink my tea and admire the sunflowers, which were the only things to look at, really. There were certainly no ducks.

While I was drinking, I watched a dragonfly, which seemed very interested in the older sunflowers.

After that I went home. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to find any ducks, and it was too hot anyway.


Faerunner said...

Those sunflower pictures are beautiful! Sorry you didn't find your ducks. Maybe tomorrow :)

Kim said...

I love the pics, but felt so sad reading this. Not sure why really, I guess because there are so many spoiled beauties in our life these days and this post just brought that up front and center. Blight is a horrible thing to witness when you are searching for scenic beauty. I hope you find the ducks.