Burden Pond Environmental Park, Troy, New York, is a piece of solitude, tucked away amongst the houses, laundry and gas station. You would miss it if you didn’t know it was there. It’s my destination for the morning, as I need to connect to my roots and see some big blue sky.
As always, I stop and sit at what I call the “lonely bench.” It sits there, empty, every time I go. I take pictures of it in every season. It’s the best seat in the house for watching the water spill over the dam. The sound of the water crashing to the bottom sooths me, and I close my eyes and forget the traffic that’s not even 300 yards behind me.
Burden Pond was creating in 1809 to supply water for the Troy Iron Works downstream. Nowadays, it’s an environmental area for various water fowl that call it home. There are plenty of female Mallards, but I only see one male, staying off by himself. Smart duck! J The male Mallard is easy to identify by his bright green head. The females are mostly mottled brown, and both have a distinct blue stripe along the wing span.
I also see typical Canadian Geese, diving for fish, bathing and going through their normal ritual of fighting amongst themselves, splashing water into the air in a show of dominance. I find one all on his own, giving himself a bath on the bank.
As chilly as it’s been here in New England (what we call the Northeast part of the U.S.), I’m surprised by the amount of geese there are this morning. One of the tell-tale signs of fall is the migration of these geese to southern states. The familiar “honk-honk” of 100’s of geese flying overheard is typically a sign of colder weather ahead. I hope they stay for a while.
I’m lured away from bird watching by some purple flowers next to the bank further down. I try to get close, but there are geese in the area honking at me to stay away. I get as close as possible to the purple asters. The male Mallard has followed me down the bank, and I notice him closing in on the false Solomon’s seal that’s in the area. I can’t help but take a picture of him and the wild flowers together.
It’s cool enough with the breeze off the water to be thankful for my fleece jacket. My little jaunt reminds me of fall days at home and I make a little promise to myself to come sit on my lonely bench again soon.