© 2015 Aaron Atkinson Marsh Music

Marsh Music

To you and I, this might look like a patch of wet grass. But in mid-September when the first gusts of cool autumn air blow down chilly rains from the north, flocks of blue-wing teal are sure to follow. And to a teal, this shallow marsh becomes home for a few weeks until the next front blows the finicky little birds farther south.

For a well-timed hunt or two, teal make excellent early season sport. Bug spray and trickles of sweat will soon give way to frozen fingers, fleece and wool. Because of their willingness to decoy, their aerial acrobatics and their fine table fare (not to mention the relative comfort in which they’re able to be hunted) teal are among my favorite ducks to chase. And another favorite thing, in September the marsh buzzes with life, noise and music. Have a listen to the chorus:

It starts with the walk in – splash and ripple, splash and ripple…

The highway is a quarter of a mile away and cars whiz by in a steady hum…

Decoys slap against the water with a wet, hollow plastic thud…

The wind moves through the grass with gusty swishes…

Crickets inhabit the high, dry places and they chirp…

Mosquitoes know I’m there and they visit with a buzz…

Swallows and purple martins eat the mosquitoes and they dive by with weightless zip…

Flocks of blackbirds roost in the marsh and as they join the symphony they chirp and cackle…

Then come the teal, the main event, the climax. They fly so fast that they literally sound like mini jets as they whir…

With the teal comes the blaring bass of the shotgun boom…

And then a little bird or two hits the water with a splash and ripple…

 

One Comment

  1. Mary Blissett
    Posted January 31, 2015 at 11:40 pm | #

    Very poetic!

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