A pair of Teal
Adrift, they glide upon a pond.
A pair of Teal,
Their motion silent, so genteel,
They share a life-long bond.
To marshy wetlands, they respond,
A pair of Teal.
I spotted this pair of Blue-winged Teal yesterday, when I was out at Carlos Avery State Wildlife Management Area in Anoka, Minnesota. The blue on their wings is hard to spot, unless they are flying, but their face and beaks are very distinctive.
Blue Wing Teal (Anas discors) is a small dabbling duck from North America. The scientific name is derived from Latin, Anas “duck”, and discors, “variance”, which may refer to the striking face pattern of the male. The breeding habitat of the blue-winged teal is marshes and ponds. They mainly eat plants; their diet may include molluscs and aquatic insects. They are long distance migrators. They are generally the first ducks south in the fall and the last ones north in the spring. Adult drakes depart the breeding grounds well before adult hens and immature young. Most blue-winged teal flocks seen after mid-September are composed largely of adult females and immatures, which is amazing since they are also monogamous and mate for life. So somehow the females track down their mates, who have gone far ahead of them.
This poem is a Rondelet.
The Rondelet is a French repeating form consisting of a single septet with two rhymes and one repeating refrain. the rhyme scheme is:
AbAabbA. The capital letters are the refrains, or repeats.
It contains a short refrain line as the first line that is repeated as line 3 and 7. The longer lines in the stanza are always twice as long as the refrain. So, if the refrain is written in 4 syllables, the other lines are Tetrameter. If the refrain is 5 syllables, then the others are Pentameter. If 6, then Hexameter, and so on.
This photograph was taken by the author himself on May 2, 2016.