Have you ever wondered how the birds do it?
How they stay out in the cold,
day after day after night,
and don’t freeze?
How high must their metabolism burn?
What anti-freeze could possibly run through their wings and feet?
I wonder as I watch them
wade through icy water;
As they stand unruffled and unmoved in the winter wind.
Their eyes ever watchful for the next bite of food;
floating, flying, crawling, swimming, dangling, buried in mud;
their patience unparalleled as they wait out winter,
finely tuned to survival.
What titanium will to greet yet another frost rimmed sunrise;
What optimism to date and mate in this frozen wintery world,
trusting spring will come before chicks hatch with hungry cries.
Gathering sociably on ice, wading through the frozen marsh,
clinging to the highest points of windswept trees,
their sharp taloned feet, covered in thick bird flesh scales,
immune to the cold. Gripping, balancing, grabbing;
an act of pure will.
Paddling, wading; webbed feet of
waterfowl immersed in frigid brine.
How is it possible that human flesh,
so prone to frostbite,
could not last an hour; let alone a season?
A precious gift from Creator:
Photos and Words by Woodland Gnome 2014
Why Do Ducks Not Get Frostbite? (Arts and Crafts For Retirees)