Divers Patter, Dabblers Explode: sign at Riparian Preserve Water Ranch
Sign at Riparian Preserve Water Ranch: "Divers Patter, Dabblers Explode"

I love this sign at a preserve: “Divers Patter, Dabblers Explode.” These are ducks. The sign explains that Dabblers, such as wigeons, teals, pintails, shovelers, and mallards, have large wings and large feet–you might see them walking on land–and they explode out of the rushes with their powerful wings. Divers, such as coots, grebes, buffleheads, and ruddy and ring-necked ducks, have smaller wings and heavier bodies. They are designed to sink on purpose, so they need long open runways for lift off.

Some writers explode out of nowhere. Others need a long open runway. Maybe you’re a diver. You have envied the dabblers with their powerful wings, quick drafts, and sudden success. But you’re a diver. You go deep. You need time. You need open water and a long runway. You got it. You’re cleared for take-off.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2010

Snapshot by the author, sign by the Riparian Institute, Gilbert AZ