As the afternoon of hiking faded, I was seeking those last few shots before the light faded and I walked around a tree and this beauty was in front of me. We both were startled but stopped in our tracks.
He stopped and acknowledge my presence and if on cue, he chose to strut across this small pod. His eyes followed mine as he stepped forward, one small long graceful step as time. Gliding through the water without so much of a ripple.
He turns and pauses almost recognizing the camera in my hand. The only thing that I was moving was the swivel of my head as he marched forward. He turned so I could catch the array of feathers upon his back and then turned around.
As he stepped forward back to my landing stop, he reached into the water to offer a token. This leaf lay so delicately in his beak and then without a second thought, it fell from him as it floated to the water.
Our eyes met one final time as if to say, its time to say good-bye. There was no mistaking this quiet elegance, this creature of beauty. I am grateful for this chance encounter as it reminds me to slow down and just take in the beauty that surrounds us!