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Monday, November 11, 2013

Ducks at the Ditch

It was the kind of gray fall day that one clings to, for despite the lack of sunshine, it wasn't terribly cold -- nothing a scarf and fleece couldn't handle. Unlike our current November days -- gloomy, windy, wet and nippy -- And it wasn't raining or blowing. It was a fine day to check to see if Harry was still at the ditch or if he'd left for warmer climes.
How do they know? I live by my calendar. If I neglect to write something down I am likely to forget. And now that I'm retired, I don't always know which day it is until I look at my pill box! But Harry seems to know the time is not yet right to leave. Does he one day say, "Well, I'm outta here"? It's a mystery. To me, at least. But not to this lady.
I'll call her the Duck Lady, for she seems to have rapport with the ducks at the ditch. Several answer to her call. Fred is the large mallard...
...Ethel is the large female. Duck Lady says they were brought to the ditch and aren't native. They can't fly. And they are much larger than the other Ditch Ducks.
 In Duck World, no one is safe! Along came Laverne, with whom Fred had his way. She also is not a Ditch native but has been there a number of years. When Duck Lady calls Laverne, she comes. Their relationship goes back to the time that Duck Lady fed Laverne and her babies. Now all the ducks flock around her.
I loved Fred's feet.
There were wood ducks, too. On our last walk I showed you photos of a female. Here is the larger male...
...and some of his offspring.
I think they are quite the loveliest and most distinct of the Ditch Ducks.
Duck Lady says they will stay throughout the winter. Some patches of water will be open, and they will sleep on the ice.
Until then, I will enjoy them when I can, as they explore their world on days gray and gloomy, sunny and bright.

NOTE: Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on my last post and your support for my art sale. It went well and for those of you who asked about cards, canvases and tags, I'll be with you individually. And thanks!)

27 comments:

Kathleen McCoy said...

Ducks are really wonderful creatures and I'm so glad you're enjoying when for a while, Jeanie! Great pictures! Next to cats, I have a real soft spot for ducks as I had ducks as pets growing up. They have very distinctive personalities and can be a lot of fun. You made me remember -- and smile -- today! Thanks so much!

Annie said...

I was totally enchanted by this post, Jeanne. But one thing sort of skittered my brain to a halt. They can't fly???

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I LOVE all the Ducks....So Very Pretty....And that they stay all winter....AMAZING!!!

Joanne Huffman said...

Cool ducks! The Ditch must be a delightful place all year long.

Barb said...

How do creatures know the calendar, indeed! I have trouble remembering where I am in the week, let alone when I must migrate. Great pics, Jeanie. My Grands are here skiing until tomorrow. Not much computer time!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

These are lovely photos! I love Ethel's feet too. :-)

I wonder too how animals "know" what they know. It's a mystery that I'll never tire of.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

A gorgeous story about the ditch ducks Jeanie!
Thank goodness for the "duck ladies" - much like the "cat ladies" who look after the strays in our city.
Hugs
Shane

Bella Rum said...

Those wood ducks are gorgeous. I guess they are completely unaware of their beauty.

Peter Olson said...

Incredible, the number of different ducks there are. I have to go to "my" park and check if I find the same! (There is a "duck lady" also in "my" park.)

beth said...

we call those colorful ducks, wood ducks. do you?

shoreacres said...

Hate to say it, but that pair of mallards probably is so large compliments of the Duck Lady's handouts. They are native, and of course they can fly. They've just decided to hang around because of the hand-outs. ;)

Laverne is a mallard/muscovy cross. Some of her family were fooling around long before she hatched!

On the other hand, I don't doubt for a minute the bond between DL and her duckies. Mallards and muscovys both are more than willing to make friends with people, and if one person has been feeding them, all people are seen as potential sources of goodies! I was friends with a mama mallard who raised seventeen babies. I've never seen anything like it. Eventually, the babies would sit in my lap and jostle each other for the next tidbit. They all are gone now, but for at least three years I could pick them out of a crowd, and they'd come when called.

Arti said...

Looks like you're still in the midst of a glorious fall, despite the gray, while I'm in deep winter already. I love that first photo, and all the colorful ducks! It's a rare sighting for me indeed if I get to see all these, and so close and personal too!

The Artful Diva said...

Ducks can be nice to have a round. We have Muscovy ducks here and they are the messiest fowl ever! Poor things have ugly faces that only mothers can love
:-O!!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh those ducks are so pretty - I do love their bright orange feet! I am glad you have been able to relax and take in some nature in your retirement.

It's actually quite cold and blustery here today (well, cold for charlotte!) so seeing these pictures is especially fun!

Shelia said...

Those are some lovely little duckies! How nice you can enjoy them like this. I read your last post and are so happy you're enjoying your new life! You look so pretty blowing in the wind too.
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Marilyn said...

Love Fred's feet too. They immediately said "ohhh", so pretty.
All your ducks are just lovely, but Fred is my favorite.

paris parfait said...

It's cute that you've given them all names. We do that to our actual neighbours (with unpronounceable names). :)

Tammy Chrzan said...

I love these photos! I had to giggle a bit as my mom doesn't always know the day either, she just flies by the seat of her pants and enjoys life! She's retired so that's her right! Right? :)
I love the feet... Ooooo I love duck feet, and their bills, I wish we could pet them...
Much love to you and a great weekend coming up!
Tammy x

Willow said...

Loved these ducky close up photos ! :)
Fred & Ethel ...oh I miss that series and Laverne !

Relyn Lawson said...

I love the odd, mossy green bill on that one.

Shelia said...

Hi Jeanie! Thanks for popping in to see my little felties.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

must love junk said...

What beautiful pics and interesting post! :)
Susan

Deb said...

They are all so beautiful. Loved this post. Deb

Tracy said...

So sweet... And a great treat to see these BEAUTIFUL creatures up close like this...those colors and feathers... Thank you, Jeanie! :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Jenny Woolf said...

What lovely duck photos. I think bird migration is one of the amazing mysteries of the natural world. It's fantastic to see them all taking off together, and almost miraculous the distances that they fly.

Jennifer Richardson said...

They are such handsome fellows; those feathers are gorgeous.
Maybe I want to grow up to be a duck lady:)
-Jennifer

Retired English Teacher said...

You really got some nice photos here. I am fascinated about how much Duck Lady knows about her ducks. This was really fun to read.

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