Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Stormwater Wet Pond

Stay Clear During and After Rainfall
I didn't have a name for where I was going on my walk.

I now know that this area is called the West Campus Park.

However I think the following sign says it all.

Subject to Rapid Changes in Water Depth.
Water Contact Prohibited
Stay Clear during and after rainfall

 ...born to be disguised ...
...understated design beauty on a female's back ...
I didn't know about this area.

All of the years I have lived here in Calgary, I didn't go over to prairie that abutted University Heights.

I always head up to Nose Hill where there is the fabulous view of the Bow River Valley -- not to say that the rim of the glaciated valley isn't at its best from the viewpoint at the storm water wet pond.

I had never walked here before.
...  the sun rise at the Wet Pond
When I was small, I didn’t see many live ducks – except the few I could spot when I could hear them in the sky.

Mostly dead ducks appeared at our house, my dad with stacking them on the kitchen table, plucking the feathers out, that wet, dank smell to the birds after they had been plunged into boiling water.  I watched him eviscerate those small bodies, taking out the gullets for us to see, slicing them and opening them, showing us how the ducks hadn’t had time to digest the wheat.

Or perhaps he would give us one of the claws of the ducks and show us how to pull the tendons so that the feet would move.
... lovely orange feet in the water ...

Doral loved to eat duck.

I didn't like the taste.

My duck memories are all about the painted decoys that were kept under the porch during the winter, ready for hunting season, or seeing the guns on the table and watching Doral clean and grease them.

There was a lot of gear involved – his red hunting jacket and hat, the bullets which we knew were off limits to touching, the pointers and setters, or his cocker spaniels, being put in that old panel truck as he would head out to go duck shooting at some prairie pond.
... early morning calm ...

I have a fearful memory – more a whisper from my mother. Doral’s hunting companion had shot into the rustling wheat, instead of at the ducks in the air.  It was Doral who was in the grasses.

When he got home, I can remember his bloody handkerchief and his face full of shot. Wyora tweezed them out. I don’t know why the number hundreds is in my mind around that incident – probably just an exaggeration so that I could remember how much shot was there.

Years later he was still pinching them out when some of those pieces would make their way to the surface of his skin.

For me the words duck season wraps up all of those memories.


1 comment:

  1. Awesome gruesome text to go with such serene photos. No reading between the lines necessary. Thank you.

    Your daughter who was formerly a vegetarian, and who feels queezy inspire ol laughing out loud at the photo title "lovely duck feet" after the mental image of a child being handed a foot to play with post amputation.