Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Moment's Reprieve (But, Not for Long)

Yesterday, temperatures warmed up in NYC to a balmy 35 degrees.   It felt like spring!
(Unfortunately, it was only for a calendar moment.)
There were more surprises too, when going to Harlem Meer last night.
A group of about 16 additional mallards had returned, bringing the number up to almost 30.
This was great news for BradJoLina!
With so many mallards swimming in the tiny pool of water, all three flightless ducks were able to take some time to stand back and relax for a while and save their energy.  Joey, Brad and Agelina stood a little further back on the ice and let the mallards do all the work for a change. They didn't even seem that hungry, allowing the mallards to grab practically all of the food.
Of course, I realize I am not the only one sneaking food to the three flightless ducks.   Other people in the area apparently feel for the stranded birds and bring food to them. Last night, a young couple came by with their dog and the woman tossed some treats out to the birds.
But, if BradJoLina had a  brief "reprieve" last night, the same would not be true today.
Although weather forecasters had predicted a late day into night mixture of rain, sleet and snow for today, the snow in fact, came early this morning and shows no signs of either turning to rain or letting up.
That could be real bad news for Brad, Joey and Angelina.  For if past is predictor of now, then the mallards will once again take off.
Even with more than 30 birds at the Meer last night, the pool of open water was less than a few feet in diameter.  I spent at least 15 minutes trying to lift whatever slabs of ice out of it that I could.  But, the ice is so heavy and solid now, that most pieces I am unable to either break up or get rid of.
If the mallards leave and more snow piles up on what's already there, I don't know. --  It is back to the worry again for these three ducks.
I am or course, very curious at to exactly where the mallards go during the snow storms and one blizzard so far this year?
All the lakes and ponds in Central Park are frozen over right now.  Even the Reservoir which usually maintains big pools of open water and has served as winter home to hundreds of mallards, geese and ducks every year, is one big block of snow and ice now.
Perhaps that means that the mallards will be forced to stay on this one tiny patch of water still at Harlem Meer?    I don't know, but will find out later.
I just know that for one brief moment, BradJoLina caught a break last night with the warmer temperature and a flock of returning mallards.
But, it will be different tonight.
The snow continues to tumble down as I write this and there is no end in sight -- at least not until tomorrow. 
Once again, there will be no rest for the weary. -- PCA

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