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The most spectacular sunrises appear in December, as I’ve earlier noted. Why have I dubbed this Duck Dawn? In part, it’s due to the large number and variety of ducks on the pond for this time of year, including four score of the familiar Mallard, and eighteen of that most elegant of ducks, the egregiously misnamed Common Merganser — all busy flying or swimming excitedly from place to place on the strangely ice-free pond. Early this morning, I also saw what I thought was an American Coot near the shore, but it was too dark for photos.

In addition, I happened to capture a group of Mallards in flight while photographing the scene. You can see them in the fourth frame. I had a bit of luck there, of course. As the great French scientist, Louis Pasteur famously said, “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”

I debated whether to post all of these photos — which I had winnowed from the original seventy-two — or just the one “best.” I found them all so lovely, I couldn’t decide, and took the easy way out.

As I’ve noted earlier, such fabulous dawns are ephemeral. This one lasted just fifteen minutes. The changes in light and color during that brief period were subtle, but impressive nonetheless. I urge you to view one or more of the photos full-screen; just click on a photo to enlarge it. The sequence was recorded on December 27, 2011, and posted the same day.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my viewers happiness and good health in the coming New Year, as well as a big belly-laugh every now and then.

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One Response to Duck Dawn*

  1. Hardy Pond Grandma says:

    Thank you! For early risers like me, there are perhaps few things more magical than watching another day unfold on the Pond. The vista is different day to day, moment to moment, vantage point from vantage point. Living on the opposite shore from Ron, the dawn I observe on winter days must be what the ancient Vedas invoked: Ushas, a radiant peach and gold maiden, a charioteer who ushers in the sun. On the morning that Ron took his dawn photographs, I was mesmerized by the fingers of brilliant colors in the sky, and their reflection in the Pond, the bare trees in silhouette against it all. The sun is constant, and yet to us humans, it is born every moment, constantly ushered in all over the world, by Ushas, the dawn.

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