Last June as summer temperatures danced around the century mark, even the cool waters of the lake offered little reprieve from the simmering sun. It was therefore quite entertaining to watch some of the local waterfowl as they struggled with the idea of getting in the water or finding shade.
A slew of geese and ducks began making their way toward the water’s edge.
Amazingly, their headlong charge halted the moment they stepped out of the shade and into the hot sunshine.
As if confused by the throng’s forward momentum as opposed to the sudden onslaught of Texas’ oppressive heat, their hesitation soon turned to milling about at the boundary that defined relief under the trees versus attack by unending fire from the sky. Even those who had already entered the water failed to stray far from the shore as they too looked back with a certain longing on their faces.
Finally, perhaps in response to an unspoken consensus, everyone returned to the shade, found a comfortable spot to rest, and nestled in hoping to wait out the sweltering afternoon.
I found it all rather entertaining to watch the internal struggle take place as each bird realized the lake couldn’t offer what was available in the shade.
[photos include mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos), brown Chinese geese (a.k.a. swan geese, Anser cygnoides), an American coot (Fulica americana), an eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), and some duck species I can’t yet identify]