Sunday, June 6, 2010

Awwwwww

Normally I don't do "adorable" in my blogging as already a number of you are much better at that than I am. Follower "Secret Agent" has posted several nicely composed photos of nature around her home and "Penny" as well... particularly some bird photos that had my wife (an avid birder) quite excited.

Two days ago, as Nancy and I shared our morning coffee in bed, I glanced out to our small pond and discovered that a group of tiny ducklings had moved in and were gleefully swimming to and fro. We have a Japanese garden in our back yard with a small Koi pond. Nancy grabbed her digital and film cameras and stealthfully crawled out over the lawn like a sniper through the undergrowth (lawn) to snap some photos.

She captured the following picture on the digital camera; more are still in the film camera awaiting development. That camera has a much better telephoto lens so we are expecting some great shots.

Shortly the doorbell rang; a concerned neighbor had come by asking if we had seen where the ducklings had waddled off to. We showed him that they were safely in our pond, for the time being. Apparently mom and kids had wandered into a neighbors yard where dogs had killed one of the ducklings and separated mom from the remainder. They had escaped the yard with the dog and wandered down the street, ambling into our yard and discovering our small pond.

The ducklings were peeping while, off in the distance, we could hear mom calling to the babies. She was circling the neighborhood trying to locate her lost brood. After a bit of quacking-peeping back and forth, mom triangulated their location and joined them in the pond.

Here they swam for a while until mom quacked them all into a row then led them off under the fence to some new location. I was a bit disappointed, kind-of hoping they would make my pond their permanent home. But apparently Mrs. Mallard had other plans.

More pictures of our backyard garden and pond can be viewed here. (No ducks though)
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19 comments:

The Mother said...

Obviously, all that scary press about losing your kids should you venture out is absolutely true. One dead and the rest missing, just from one little outing????

I'm going to lock everyone in the house. Preferably their own rooms. Oh, wait. They already locked themselves in. They probably already heard and were terrified.

It wouldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that it's summer, hot as blazes, and someone needs to mow the yard.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Ah, you should have fed them! I bet they would have stayed if you'd fed them!

Robert the Skeptic said...

Dr. Mom I totally understand the need for safety; after all, I had the a advantage of growing up during the era of "Duck-and-cover" drills.

Bananas We already have a bird feeder. I didn't want to start down the road of establishing an avian cafeteria if I could help it.

secret agent woman said...

Thank you.

And they are adorable. Ducklings are always impossibly cute. But I'm with gorilla bananas - I'd be unable to resist feeding them.

Robert the Skeptic said...

SecretAgent I actually wondered if the ducks would like to eat the Koi food. Unfortunately, Momma Mallard apparently thought she could find better accommodations for her brood elsewhere and left before I could serve breakfast.

Penny said...

Those ducklings are so sweet, very much awwww. And your garden is beautiful - not awww, but ooooh!

Robert the Skeptic said...

Penny I fully admit freely I bask in the positive strokes my ego gets when people enjoy my garden. The reality is it is HIGH MAINTENANCE and I am constantly fighting weeds which clearly thrive in the Oregon climate.

GutsyWriter said...

I could visualize you and Nancy in bed with a cup of coffee and looking out at the babies. I love dogs, but if my Cookie killed a duckling, I'd be so MAD.

I'm Jane said...

Very very cute!

I lived on a lagoon a couple of years ago and initially thought it was great when a couple of ducks took up residence in my back yard. And then discovered that the damn things are loud and territorial and LOUD and like to start "yelling" at each other around 6 am every morning. Stupid ducks.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Gutsy Yes, it's pretty sad that the neighbor's dog got to one of the ducklings. Our yard probably would not have provided much additional safety as I've noticed that local cats patrol our yard regularly as well.

Mama Mallard likely employed some level of intrinsic duckie wisdom in moving the family to a safer location. They were adorable during the short duration of their visit, though.

Jane Unfortunately we have no shortage of Canada Geese in our area; and with fields situated to the west and south of us, well their fly-overs make washing our cars an exercise in futility. I run indoors when I hear them overhead.

...Why the hell to they have to crap while flying??!!

Mary Witzl said...

Awww! I love ducks.

Do you have slugs in that garden? Because if you did, you wouldn't even have to feed them, the slugs would do it! Win-win, plus I'm told the fun of watching the ducks eat the slugs is not to be missed.

Penny said...

Responding to your reply to my comment: I've wondered about the high maintenance part of Japanese gardens -whenever I've seen them (local, not the real thing)there are gardeners beavering away. They do look wonderful though.
Thanks for the heads up by the way. :)

Robert the Skeptic said...

Mary Indeed, our wet Oregon climate is ideal for slugs of all kinds. I would have most happily turned over slug eradication to the duckies had they chosen to remain in the yard. Our protected yard, the pond... it all seemed ideal for the duck family. But I cannot fault Mrs. Mallard's experienced decision to depart.

Penny I can't begin to emphasize what an onerous job keeping a Japanese garden free from weeds is. It is almost impossible to use chemicals so it all must be hand weeded. It kind of takes the "Zen" out of the whole process.

GutsyWriter said...

Robert. The south of France is finally on my blog.

Entre Nous said...

Take the er, plunge and feed the birds. They were here first, before humans so rudely invaded nearly all the free space!

Adorable is good.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Entre Nous Unfortunately they "flew the coop" as it were and waddled on to (hopefully) greener pastures (or ponds). We do feed the song birds though.

kara said...

dawwwwwww!

Robert the Skeptic said...

Ok there's no more cuteness here, folks... keep moving.

KleinsteMotte said...

Ponds. Yup. Work. Ducklings awwww. Mrs. Mallard takes her loss so well. Seems we get more saddened.