317Days #49 Two Heads
We get so many ducks years round in our pond that I probably hold the record for the quantity of duck photos every taken. You will see soon enough as the ducklings usually begin hatching out toward the end of March in a mild winter. And I can not resist taking photos of the little ones with their moms.
The ducklings began hatching out in late March last year and several females hatched their broods. In all we counted 67 ducklings. All but four succumbed to the ravages of the weather or becoming dinner to the Great Blue Heron*. This lady hatched very late last summer and was two of four duckling that survived. She and her brother were not ready to fly south this fall and stayed here for the winter. I realized it was them when I went in the back yard one cold fall day and they came flying to greet me. They didn’t quack but still had their little duck “peeping” voices.
The batch born in March didn’t survive the flooding, the cold nights, the soggy days, and the rushing water. Mama duck was tenacious at trying to keep them together and safe and dry. But one day I saw half of her twelve get caught in the wind and the strong current and literally blown out of the pond and into the rushing stream. Poor Mama was frantic, trying to save them from going over. But without a means of carrying them, she was unable to save them. Showing extreme upset she returned to the six that had safely stayed on the little island. But one at a time over the course of the next three weeks the little ducklings would disappear.
The other batches all were between
*You will also be subject to my fascination with taking photos of the Great Blue Heron. More to come on it, I promise. Or perhaps this can be taken a fair warning.