, Newburyport, MA


April 4, 2014

Comings and goings at Quill's Pond

Finally, the sun broke through what had threatened to be another rain-dominating day early in the week, and I had set out with the aid of a mild easterly at my back to test my lower part.

“I’ll try a quarter of a mile down Hay to Green Street and back,” I said as I set out, cane in hand.

Testing was indicated because I’d had a tumble a couple of weeks earlier that made even sitting on hard surfaces discomforting.

So far so good, I thought as I stopped just beyond the intersection with Green Street to respond to a bluejay’s call somewhere in the trees ahead.

It did so, every 10 steps, and I would answer.

A minute or two later, another joined in whatever was being said, and by the time I came abreast of the trees so did a third.

I have absolutely no idea of what we were talking about, and I don’t want to give the impression that I can converse with any other kind of bird, my falsetto and range being limited.

More’s the pity because they do get around, and I would like to know what some of the regulars to the Quill’s Pond area — those born here over the years and those come to create new generations — would say about Alberta Nutile’s departure from what had long been her home for decades across the street from it.

A retired surgical nurse, Alberta nurtured life in hospitals before retiring, and did the same for birds that came and departed, year after year, later on.

As an embellishment, she qualified for raising domestic swans, their dignity and grace enriching all who stopped by to enjoy their presence together with that of a rich variety of what nature had to offer.

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