Kathleen discovered a woman who was giving away eight-week-old ducks, and having a garden enclosed by a deer fence, I thought I could keep them to control pests. So I took two. The duck lady delivered them, gave me a book on raising ducks and some feed. I released them in the garden. Within a minute they had waddled down the slope and out through the squares in the deer fence, which I thought would be too narrow for them to escape through. Not. I heard them in the bushes but they wouldn't come out.
Later they came up the stairs on the side of the garden, and I tried to herd them back into their proper digs. This scared them and they fled down and away into the bushes again. I fear they have become raccoon bait. Clearly I must wrap chicken wire around the deer fence should I wish to entertain quackers again. Call me "a duck farmer for a day."
As for pests in the redwoods, you haven't lived until you've seen a banana slug.
I once picked one up with my bare hand. It took six washings to begin to get the feeling of slime off my fingers. The Pacific Giant Salamander eats them. I have a friend who saw a salamander actually stalking a slug. It was just like a cheetah on a zebra, or so it seems to us redwood dwellers who are used to watching trees grow.
But we do have bears, bobcats, mountain lions, weasels, foxes, raccoons, and no poisonous snakes. And you say, "You live in California?" Yes. Just don't tell anyone.
Ducks and slugs certainly qualify as ordinary. Let's see if I can find another ordinary poem:
Nothing to Say
I have nothing needful to say,
no comment on the glittering bay
or the dark, snow-topped wall
of the San Gabriels.
Things used to be pulled from me,
uprooted like weeds from a garden.
I let the weeds bloom now.
The red-throated bird
that lives in my chipped balcony light
sings for a mate I have never seen.
I let my words run like watercolors.
Time runs only forward.
Why should art be different?
Here is the last line.