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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Checking In with My Ditch Friends

It may be brisk here (read that cold!) but the other day it was nice enough for a walk down to the Ditch to check out what early spring might look like. As I got closer I heard a lot of squalking going on. It was these two.


I'm not sure what the back story was, but they were chatting up a storm -- and loudly. No aggression, just a good old fashioned Canada geese shouting match!


These two were much quieter. At first I thought the one on the left might be nesting.


But when I walked into a different position, I could see she was on a bit of a sand bar.


Rounding the corner, I had no anticipation of seeing the deer. After all, it was mid-afternoon. And then I got a glimpse of this.


At least four were grazing; there might have been another out of viewing range. This one never moved, apart from an alert head twitching now and then.


Perhaps she is just waiting to give birth. She certainly wasn't grazing with the others.


Whenever the deer show up, I feel like it's a special gift. A small group of them have found some sanctuary on this little island. When it gets leafier, the sightings will be much more difficult. Not so for these critters!


I was surprised that the usual herds of ducks (that's probably not the right term but that is what it feels like!) weren't making an appearance. It was cold enough they may have been seeking some shelter from the wind in the reeds. But this was a fine pair.


When I first "shot" them they were quite far and the zoom was pretty maxed out. But I think they thought I might be a soft touch for duck food and started heading toward me!


Alas, they were disappointed. To be honest, I'm not even sure what to feed the ducks. Do any of my birder friends have a recommendation? I have heard that the traditional bread and crackers we used to feed them when I was a child aren't so good for them, so I just usually watch. But when Baby Grand is a little older, I know we'll want to feed them! Suggestions are welcome!


I don't expect we'll be seeing warm days anytime soon -- or rather, warm days that will stay on for good. But I look forward to more Ditch walks and a wider array of wildlife soon!


(And I will eagerly await Harry the Heron's return!)

42 comments:

Sami said...

Sweet photos of the ducks and of course the deers are just so precious.
A friend of ours lives by the river and has ducks and swans coming around and he actually buys special food for the ducks/swans from the pet shop. Bread isn't good for them, they might die because they can't digest it apparently.

bj said...

I just love these kind of walks with our cameras...I love your great photos...

David Gascoigne said...

I already feel a great sense of communion with your ditch friends. Please enroll me as a Certified Friend of the Denizens of the Ditch! And kudos to you for caring about them.

Susie said...

Jeanie, I love seeing the geese, ducks and deer . The deer are beautiful to see. We saw about twelve crossing the road in front of us one afternoon. I made my husband almost stop completely as I knew more would be behind the first 3. It was fun to see them all run thru the open fields. All were does. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Valerie-Jael said...

What a magical place the ditch is. Love all the photos of the deer, ducks and geese. I think Harry is here at the Rhine! Have a great afternoon, hugs, Valerie

Sandi said...

Great shots! Beautiful.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Such nice pics of the deer! Can't wait for nice weather to settle in.

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, what a beautiful visit with Mother Nature you had! I love the squalking of geese. We seem to be in a fly-over path for them, love that. We have a pond in the neighborhood here and I should take a walk to see if anything has hatched. Doesn't it just make you in awe to see this........Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. I will look forward to seeing Harry as always.........

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How nice to see some of the 'regulars' and take such great photos! I love the bubbly water in the one and the beautiful speckled feathers on that female. We have a couple of geese at the pond nearby but I don't know where their nest is! I keep looking to see! Enjoy your afternoon! Hugs!

William Kendall said...

Yes, bread is not good for ducks.

Apparently corn or bird seed is okay, but it's not a good idea to feed them often. They can fend for themselves, generally speaking, especially the better part of the year.

Beautiful deer shots!

And I saw the first Canada geese of the season here on one of our rivers this past Sunday. They were probably just taking a break on their way to points further north.

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Truly wonderful, thank you for sharing what you saw! Just love the ducks, the deer and the sunshine!

Sandra Cox said...

What a lovely walk and wondrous pictures.
Cracked corn. Oats. Birdseed.

My name is Erika. said...

You had a nice wildlife fix, didn't you? And I am still impressed with the photos your camera takes. You got some sharp clear photos. I also wonder why that deer was laying down-maybe it was nap time. Lucky you to have no snow on the ground-even though we got nothing in this storm we still have some melting to go. Happy almost weekend Jeanie. Hugs-Erika

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

So magical seeing the deer! I love that picture, too, where you can just barely make them out in amongst the trees. I don't get all starry eyed about the Canada geese. In some places, they are almost a pest. Lots of them around. I prefer them flying overhead. Ducks? I love ducks. -Jenn

Lynne said...

Right about now I appreciate all the “teasers”I can find . . .
The Ditch, walk, deer, geese, ducks did it for me . . .
Thanks!

Kitty said...

Another wonderful walk to take with you Jeanie. I do wish I had the freedom to take a walk and experience what you find. My day will come. Thanks for sharing.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

A beautiful nature walk! Love seeing all the sweet residents of this pretty place! x Karen

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You are not the first person this week to rave over seeing Canadian geese. I hate to tell you, but if you want more, I will gladly ship a BUNCH of them to you. My entire neighborhood is overrun with them. They are bold, brazen, and snappy if they don't get their way. People think they are SO cute, then feed them and they don't want to fly south in winter because they are rewarded with food here. In fact, we have so many of them, my neighborhood association has one as our symbol.

The deer are a different story. I'd love to see a deer in my yard, even if it meant they ate all my day lilies and lettuce greens.

Loved the photos. I think Sandra had a good idea of what to feed the ducks. I have none whatsoever. Hope your day at the ditch was as enjoyable for you as it was for me!

handmade by amalia said...

The geese and ducks must be so happy to finally be out and about, even if it is still a little nippy.
Amalia
xo

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jeanie,
Isn't it life grand and especially when we are with nature! It'll be interesting to see if this doe is going to be giving birth and if she does I sure hope you can get a photo of a fawn for us!
Enjoy your Spring day!
Jemma

Tracy said...

Oh, it's good to get outside and see what's happening in nature! I love when you take is to the Ditch, Jeanie! Deer are special, magical creatures...there is something about them... How sweet the ducks! Harry should surely be making an appearance soon?! We are still snow covered here, not much show, moving, etc. yet... The birds, however, are are busy...their songs and sounds have been changing this week. They're starting to sing their love songs! There's someone outside right now sounding like "here!" "here!"... Kind of like, "Com'n honey, I'm right here, come and get me".... haha!! ;) Happy Spring Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Joanne Huffman said...

It looks like spring really is coming. Great photos.

Mary Rose's said...

Jeanie, we don't often feed the geese, ducks on Burnside Pond (along with egrets and herons) because as William and Bluebeard & Elizabeth already noted, they fend well for themselves.

BUT SOMETIMES (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) we can attract plenty of attention from the birds by tossing small amounts of dry cat or dog food into the water. You know, bottom of the bag bits and such.

XO

roughterrain crane said...

You took great shots. Feathers are shining.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

I hope that you're framing some of those gorgeous photos of yours! Enjoy your weekend, Jeanie.

La Table De Nana said...

You cannot feel but peaceful when witnessing nature such as this..

lol more people should get out and observe nature at it's best.
So lovely Jeanie.Bon weekend.

BB said...

Oh, yes! Harry the Heron! Looking forward to seeing him again.

I wish I could come and walk along with you to your ditch. So glad you can take us on a digital tour.

Stacey said...

The Ditch is a great place. Anywhere that provides a peek at nature and animals is wonderful to me. Fortunately, in our neighborhood, we get to see deer often. It just makes my heart happy. :)

Red Rose Alley said...

Yes, it is a special gift when we see the deer. What a wonderful sight they are. And the geese are lovely as well. They are cautious ones though, and I'm surprised they stayed put when you took their picture. The picture of the Mallard Duck is a beauty. Such a joy to see your nature photos today, Jeanie. I can see why you walk down to the Ditch sometimes. : )

~Sheri

Jeanne Washburn said...

What a lovely spot. And walkable. Just delightful. Perhaps next trip you'll get to see the fawns. :)

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

What beauty you found! I really don't like the geese because they make such a mess of our sidewalks and parks BUT, I DO love seeing their little babies haha. Those deer were stunning!

Victoria Zigler said...

How wonderful that you got to see so much wildlife on your visit to the ditch!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

What a great place to walk to and see all the birds and animals. Looks very pretty there. I am sure if you went on line and asked Google, you would get an answer as to that to feed them.

I think your right the mother deer is getting ready to have her baby,

Have a great weekend and Happ Easter.

Hugs,
Mary

I need orange said...

There were at least five pairs of mallards on our smallish neighborhood park pond last week (and maybe an extra male, or two).

I'm hoping for lots of baby ducks this year. :-)

(Sometimes this pond has loaves of bread just sitting in the water falling apart. Way more than the ducks and the fish combined can begin to eat. I bet it's not good for them, but it doesn't seem to slow them down, at least in the short run.)

Pam Jackson said...

What a lovely place to visit. I feel blessed when I see any wildlife out in nature. Always seeing deer and it just makes me so happy. Course I feel that way not only about wildlife but any animals. I love the pigs and horses at the barn. Love it.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

How fun to take a walk and see all that wildlife! The sun looks great. We have had sun here but it is still in the 30's or less here.

Marie Rayner said...

Beautiful pictures Jeanie. I love Mother Nature in all of her forms! I am a real nature lover. Xoxo

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Good Morning, Jeanie. I got you in my in-box today so I did it right! Your photos of the animals are so beautiful and what a wonderful place for a walk. When I was young, I loved to see the deer come around, but my folks were not happy about their garden! We live in town now so don't get to see them as much. We have to travel on a busy two lane road to get to places afar and so many come out of the woods and get hit by cars. That is not a pleasant sight..Happy Weekend. We are traveling down that road to go shopping at Trader Joe's today..Judy

Marilyn Miller said...

I love your ditch walks. How special to see so many deer there too.

Pam Richardson said...

Wildlife watching is so much fun! You had a nice walk seeing geese, ducks, and deer! We have daily visitors where our pasture backs up to woods! Deer are way too plentiful and so are turkey! But, they are still exciting to watch!

Bonnie said...

What an exciting and productive walk with your camera! I would have been thrilled to have gotten such wonderful pictures.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love how much wild life you see on your walks to the ditch. So cool to see all those deer. I bet Baby Grand is going to love to feed the ducks when he accompanies you on these walks!!

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