We’d seen a Kildeer
active along the roadside
very near the entrance
to the Pond House driveway.
She scampered along the road
as I drove by, trying to distract
me from where she evidently
had laid eggs.
I knew there had to be a nest,
but didn’t
take the time to stop.
And then the day
Ann first drove the riding lawn mower
up the road to the Pond House,
the bird wasn’t darting off across the road
to distract Ann
from the area where she’d laid eggs…
no,
she was standing in the nest
raising a ruckus. Ann stopped
the lawn mower
within inches of the nest,
with its speckled teardrop-shaped eggs
perfectly placed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Knowing that the mail carrier
often drives alongside the road,
Ann warned her
and, at the mail carrier’s request,
put up two little flags around the nest
to help remind her,
in case Mamma Kildeer
was on break
(which she was,
when I took these photos.)

Kildeer are beach birds,
related to the Sand Piper.
This used to be a beach—
millions of years ago.
And the gravel along the roadside
is the closest material there is here now
to sand. Makes sense
she would build her nest there,
though quite hazardous
for the eggs. Still,
Kildeer often succeeds
in bringing little ones
from that beautifully-laid
nest of eggs
into the prairie world.