I wonder what kind of duck this is. Is it in my book Saskatchewan Birds?
Yep. It's a male bufflehead.
I don't have duck feet, wasn't wearing my rubber boots, and was almost a mile from home, so didn't go down the ditch after this beer can thrown out a window by a waste of skin.
On my walks these days I think of the people who aren't going to drive by me anymore. There are three.
One was a neighbour lady who always gave me a wink and a wave while taking her husband to the field or perhaps delivering him a lunch; she passed away at home, suddenly, just a couple weeks ago.
Another was an area bachelor who drove over this way to check his crops or get into his machinery; he'd occasionally stop for a short exchange of niceties about the weather and joked the first time, by way of introducing himself, "I'd give you a ride home but you probably know better than to ride with a stranger." He died within the past year or so.
And then there was Monte, a friend since our teens and a close neighbour and friend Scott grew up with. He worked on a farm close by, and would quite often stop to jaw and offer me a beer, even though he was on his way from one task to another. He died on my birthday last year; just dropped to the floor one morning and was gone. I get a little verklempt when I remember that we won't have any more of those dusty gravel road conversations.