Walking. With One (Good) Wing Creatures.

5:15 a.m. I’m out the door.  Dark Sky is calling for rain. Let’s see.

It’s been ~675 mornings, almost consecutive. Like in a row. I’m on my daybreak walk @ Cove Island Park.

It’s not all glorious Swans and pirouettes.

There she is. Up top. The Gull. She? He? Sorry, with no disrespect intended to whatever it is, I’m old school. Or just old. I don’t know its pronoun, and we’re going with She.

I wasn’t paying attention. Not downward anyway.  And typically, the wildlife clears out-of-the-way when Darth Vader approaches. A 6’1″ human, black hoodie, black jacket, black sweat pants, black gloves, black toque (pronounced tuuuk), and a matching black backpack.  Darth, who recently had foot surgery, happens to be dragging his right leg, with his Sorel boot scraping the asphalt behind him.  So all winged creatures give Darth wide berth.

So as I stepped over the rock and around another, I didn’t see her. Whoa girl. What are you doing standing here?  Her wing is broken. Something damaged with her leg too. She’s motionless. Her head turns up to look at me. She’s in trouble.

Funny (not), how the darker moments in the 675 days rise to the top. This despite all best efforts to bury the near-dead, to create a safe place well away from the moment — and yet, the shadow, and its outline, persists and persists.

Canada Goose. Female. No obvious sign of injury. Standing, alone, on the beach, in darkness. They’re never without their mate. I approach. She doesn’t move. She looks up at me. Those eyes. That sadness.

Then there’s the Mallard.  Park parking lot. On its back. Twitching. Raven’s claw clamped onto her breast bone, tearing away at flesh.

And the Deer, bounding out of the bushes in front of the City Bus as I pull into the park.  She almost cleared the bus, but for her back right leg, badly broken. She struggled to get up, and again, and again and again. I had to turn away.

So, there I stand over her this morning. Thinking how wonderful it could be to bend down, carefully wrap her in my hoodie, and take her home. And fix her. And make her better.

I gently turn away from her, thinking about a passage in Jami Attenberg’s new book: “Why don’t we have that option? To block what we choose not to see.”

And why don’t we have a 2nd option.

To block what we choose to remember.

Photo @ Daybreak. 6:19 am, March 12, 2022. 43° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. (Other pictures from this morning here.)


  1. So touching Darth David. I wish we could save them all too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh man, pal, this was a tough one. There are a couple of rehab organizations here that we can call if we find an injured bird or animal. Would think you would have something there as well? Maybe worth a little google search. Even if you can’t help them all, you might be able to save one here and there…💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In all those days of walking the cove, you were bound to see the sad along with the beautiful. Nature can be so tough sometimes.

    What up with your foot? I take it you were NOT supposed to keep off it after surgery?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yes, this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. (Indeed, DK, you never got to Part 2 of the new doctor visit..) And the dire animal injuries we can do little to nothing about.. 💔 I would choose to forget them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, David, try to forget. But you can’t. I know I never can. Maybe we’re meant to remember. But also, I think, don’t spread the sadness. There’s enough of it in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mother Nature can be cruel by human standards. Life goes on. . . For some.

    Even though I have dealt with pain, suffering and death for. 40+ years, I try to avoid stories/ videos of suffering animals. Go figure

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I refuse to call it “Mother” Nature because a mother would never be so cruel. But yes, nature is cruel and, selfishly, I’m glad I don’t see most of the horrors that go on out there. I guess I’m a coward, not wanting to look, but it hurts me not to be able to help any suffering animal.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think many of us block what we choose not to see. Out of sight, out of mind.

    I guess with 675 days of walking, you are bound to see the circle of life…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s impossible to shake such imagery…I want to believe she just needed to take a breather for a bit, and her wing would fix itself…I hope Lori’s suggestion offered some resource up there…the images that remain – this one included.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s really so tough, isn’t it?…when you love animals so much. I remember all of those instances of wishing I hadn’t seen the suffering and the pain. And even now, I worry about the thousands of birds at the wildlife refuge, knowing they will need to travel several thousand miles to return home. I’ve read that the journey is difficult and so tiring for the birds, our friends these past few months. It gives me just one more thing I wish I didn’t think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Awww!! … “I gently turn away from her, thinking about a passage in Jami Attenberg’s new book: “Why don’t we have that option? To block what we choose not to see.”

    Liked by 1 person

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