One day a mallard stepped out of the water onto a rock and began to preen.
So tame was it, or so quiet I, that it did not seem to mind that I watched the scene.
I braced myself in the bright, hot sun and took photo after photo with the goal,
I think, to be surprised, to see what might be revealed by this creature in the shoal.
Later I’d discover that most of the pictures were not good but in the moment I did not mind.
I’d had my time with mallard who, I like to think, bowed his head deep at our parting in the ways of his kind.