Weeks recounts a walk along Rice Pond and the interlacing of the sounds coming from various species of waterfowl. He also provides information regarding the colorful ensembles sported by different types of birds that were seen on the hike.
While we like to assign value to weather conditions, such as considering a drought being bad, John Weeks explains that in nature extreme weather is simply part of a cycle. He discusses how it is the extremes in climate that determine what vegetation grows. Drought is a gift to some life and a distraction to others. Locally, dry years are extremely beneficial to pheasants and wetland nesting birds.
Inspired by the sight of a rail bird, John Weeks discusses local marshes. These "pea soup pastures" are growing drier and drier, destroying their complex and diverse life cycle. However, when the wetlands are replenished by rain, these ecosystems can recoup quickly.
John Weeks describes the differences between a black duck and a mallard by describing their unique appearances. Weeks also brings up the topic of mites and the diverse ones that exist, including the green-winged teal.