Yes, you read that right. I’ve been walking in my pool. After my shoulder joint was rudely removed by a damned fine surgeon and replaced with a titanium replica that promises to outlast the rest of my body, I was told no swimming until the incision’s completely healed. Bummer. In addition, the machinations of the surgeon left me pretty anemic. The thought of becoming a couch potato in a pool of blubber was not appealing, so I’ve taken to walking in the pool. Traversing the shallow end 50 or 60 times is absolutely mind-numbing, but it has the advantage of being close to home should I start to fade.
This type of exercise has left me to my imagination and observation. One of the things I’ve seen in the pool every day is a bird feather. The adult wing feathers have a gray base and the loveliest pink-red tips, clearly from one of the cardinals living in the bushes near the house. We feed them in the winter time, and to get to the food, the male meanly shoves aside any female on the tray. By spring, however, he has more urgent things on his mind and will delicately choose a seed to feed his mate. Males of every species are clearly driven by their hormones! Each year a pair nest in the tree outside our family room window and raise a raucous brood which doesn’t want to leave. But being territorial, by the time fall rolls around Mom and Dad have asserted themselves and we are back to one pair. They apparently like to bathe in our pool, despite the fact that we have provided them with a fantastic bird bath. Occasionally, one or the other sheds a downy breast feather, totally pink, that floats gracefully on the water’s surface. I do love seeing that fluff.
I also use these walks to remove leaves from the pool, which are slowly taking over its surface. I enjoy watching a sere and folded leaf land on the water and sail across the pool, pushed by the wind like a ship of state. Makes me think of the Niña, Pinta, Santa Maria, Mayflower, Golden Hind, Trinidad and Santiago, ships that flew before the wind carrying explorers across the oceans and around the world. But mostly I just scoop them up with a net, while walking mindlessly back and forth.