I thought about beginning this post with, “Spring is my favorite…,” and, then, realized that I would likely say that about any season at its height. Instead, I’ll say that I’m fond of this time of year because of the coots and the lilies and the returning swallows and the brilliant greens and the bright flowers. (Undoutedly, I am particularly attached to this time of year as the days grow longer and less grey.) Onward, the American coot is a long-legged, oddly footed, black waterfowl that is at its most elegant while walking across mats of lily pads and cattails. It charms one in its search for the right lily stem, which it grasps proudly in its whitish bill as it paddles back to its nest. The coot is not pictured here, but this is its haunt. Lily leaves jut out across the calm surface as cattail brakes outline the shore.