Wouldn’t it be great if instead of the latest tragedies, the local news headlines focused on the local sightings of baby swans, ducks and geese during the month of May? And when passing showers proliferate, the weather could offer the chance of rainbows during Spring in New England? The cuteness quotient could not be higher at this time of year. Every May around Memorial Day I can usually find cygnets, ducklings and goslings in area ponds and rivers in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.
This year I explored the Buttonwood Park pond in New Bedford, MA. where there is also a zoo. In two visits to the park, I have seen two families of Canada Geese – one has older goslings than the other. There is a family of swans with two cygnets. One Mallard duck family has six babies and another has one baby. It’s all happening at the pond.
Yesterday at the park, dark rain clouds dotted the canvas of blue skies with white clouds. A passing shower found me taking shelter under the canopy of a tree’s branches and I was on high alert for a rainbow but I did not see one. Nature’s beauty was hardly tarnished by its absence. The abundance of water fowl parading their children across the pond served up a heady dose of cuteness and charm all by themselves. Families with children reaching out to give bits of bread to the ducks was equally adorable. I flashed back to my own childhood trips to a park in Michigan to feed the ducks.
As May fades into summer, I bid it a fond adieu. It is definitely one of the best months in New England.
“Daughter of heaven and earth, coy Spring,
With sudden passion languishing,
Teaching barren moors to smile,
Painting pictures mile on mile,
Holds a cup of cowslip wreaths
Whence a smokeless incense breathes…
Where shall we keep the holiday,
And duly greet the entering May?
Too strait and low our cottage doors,
And all unmeet our carpet floors;
Nor spacious court, nor monarch’s hall,
Suffice to hold the festival.
Up and away! where haughty woods
Front the liberated floods:
We will climb the broad-backed hills,
Hear the uproar of their joy…”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, May Day