Getting Your Ducks in a Row

So this boss walks up to an employee sitting at his desk.  The boss says, “Johnson, I don’t know what your problem is?  Yesterday you had your ducks in a circle and today you have your ducks stacked on top of each other.  When are you going to get your ducks in a row?”

This was the gist of a one-a-day cartoon calendar that I saw at work on Monday.  The joke worked better visually.  It showed the boss, the employee and the stack of ducks on his desk.  Mentioning this joke has less to do about work, than it does the following pictures.  The first photo shows a quartet of male Wood Ducks almost in a row, well really in two parallel rows.  The second photograph shows a mother Wood Duck with her quintet of ducklings, none of which are in a row.

I don’t know if all of the waterfowl that I see and photograph have always been there and it just took me to open my eyes to see them or is something happening?  In the case of the Park, I belive it is the later.  Over the last ten years Forest Park has been undergoing a restoration.  One of the principal elements of this restoration was restoring “the river” to the Park. 

Previous to this work, the Des Pere River flowed underground in storm sewers and its remnants, the ponds of Forest Park were disjointed, stagnate and polluted.  The river still flows underground, but the once separate ponds are now all connected and water flows again over the surface of the Park.  I believe that this reclamation of the River Des Pere, albeit somewhat Potemkin in nature, is responsible for the proliferation of waterfowl, flourishing in the Park.

It is not only in the Park that I have noticed such changes.  Similarly, last summer, at the Cabin, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, there were Sandhill Cranes everywhere.  I had never seen nor noticed them like that before.  It makes one think that we are actually doing something right.  Then there is the BP oil spill that is now unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

No one is pleased with this oil spill.  There is plenty of blame to be laid and BP deserves its fair share.  Short term corrective actions are already occurring.  Long term, Obama’s embrace of off-shore drilling needs to be re-thought.

Iris was the Greek goddess of the rainbow.  She was a messenger to the Greek gods.  Like their namesake, iris flowers come in every color of the rainbow.  We need Iris now, to send a message to the titans of industry.  They need to clean up their act.  Failing that, if BP cannot get its ducks in a row, maybe we and Iris should call upon her sisters, the Harpies, who will tear them apart, financially of course, because that is where it hurts them the most.

Today, May 4th, is National Teacher Day, a great time to think about and even thank a teacher.

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