I was shifting recycling at the house door when there was suddenly a great flapping of wings. And then 20′ away on the our path, there was a young duck couple!So cute! She’s so very well disguised. They were obviously young, obviously a couple, and so confused, wonking away. wonk. wonk? wonk!
Why did they land right here? I know the paths are just big long puddles these day. They pattered back and forth, following each other around, and then, woosh! They burst back into the air.
It’s sure been nice to have the camper off-site for a few days. I love not seeing the project and freely being able to concentrate on other things.
We went for a bike ride and saw some ducks. One slim mother duck with nine ducklings. Nine! That seemed like quite an impressive brood. All little fuzzy puffballs but with speed, toddling around foraging in the grass at the edge of the lake.
I don’t know how she kept track of her flock. She did though. Whenever the count didn’t add up, she would stand up and quack, and eventually one duckling would come frantically cheeping from around the corner, or down the shore, streaking back to the momma zone. Very cute, and mesmerizing antics, like most of them squirming through the chain link fence while mama goes around.
Had a spontaneous good time with a flock of ducks at the park in town yesterday.
They were having a good time too, until HW started catching them.
When we sat down to have a snack we were immediately surrounded by the little flock of ducks (and one seagull), that was clearly conditioned to the sound of bag rustling. They worked up pretty quickly to eating rice cake crumbs out of our hands; a couple of females were the boldest.
Some of them found the whole eating out of the hand thing too challenging, yanking on our fingers or the fold of skin at the ball of the hand and wondering why they weren’t getting anything, while the food is right there on the palm. One shy mallard tugged repeatedly on my fingertip and then gave up, as though he didn’t understand how it was working for all the others.
After HW got bit enthusiastically once, he grabbed the offender: “That’s it, I’m catching you!” He held her like a chicken, as she silently stretched out her neck and paddled her dangling feet a bit. Passersby noticed. After he snatched up the second girl duck, the rest of the flock got considerably more reluctant to eat out of our hands.
Ducks are very soft, and a little bit oily, to pet. Their feathers are round, like fish scales. Very beautiful, especially the mallards, whose heads look indigo when they’re walking away from you and green when they’re approaching.
Turns out they fight by biting each other in the chest, and holding on as long as they can. One pair treated us to a good duckfight show over some prime crumbs, the female coming from behind for a big win, and the mallard trucking off with his tail…not quite between his legs.