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Thread subject: Ducks and more ducks.
Name Date Message
Marie 12/16/05 07:35 pm At this time of year it is wise to allow oneself lots of time to get from A-B as I found out yesterday. The Christmas rush and congestion is truly out there to FRUSTRATE all who are foolish or out of necessity have to be on the roads at this time of year.
On A WHIM, I decided to head across town to the Lagoon. The sun was brilliant in an azure blue sky. No wind was present although the air was crisp. Wrapped in winter '' woolies '' I headed out. Even at 2pm the traffic on the highway was a nightmare. It took me twice as long to arrive at my destination. The traffic was bumper to bumper and going so slow. It was hard not to get angry for I could see the sun slowly descending. Luckily I had a nice classical Harp CD to play in the car. This helped sooth the mounting frustration I was feeling.. I was sure I wouldn't have any great light for photography if the traffic didn't find a way to speed up. Luckily it did after a while, and an hour after I had left home, I was at the Lagoon. The Lady who feeds all the ducks was there again with four big pales of duck feed! Every day she is arrives and in fly all the ducks. Right across the Lagoon they come. Even the 10 resident Mute Swans paddle across from every direction with those big feet of theirs. One duck must sound the ÃALL' that announces to all the bird life ...she has arrived! Amazing. I love to arrive at this time for all the ducks that generally hang out in the middle of the Lagoon come much closer to shore. Common Goldeneye and Buffleheads are often difficult to photograph but they were there right in the thick of hundreds of Mallards, Wigeon, and Pintails. Even two female Scaup headed right into the throng of up-ended dabbling Ducks! It was hilarious to watch all those little headless, feathered'' behinds '' pointing skywards and orange feet treading frantically the air or water. The movement before me in the water was at boiling point. A carpet of green heads of Mallards appeared and then disappeared while they grovelled with their bills on the shallow bottom of the Lagoon. It was great to watch all this commotion.. The Buffleheads, Scaup and Goldeneye totally disappeared beneath the surface and would then pop-up like corks. Trying to second guess just where these would surface was a challenge. It was lovely though to see all the colour and hear all the different sounds of each species.The Goldeneye were particularly showy with their posturing behaviours. Always trying to secure their '' chosen-one '' with the best head throw back activity. How they don't dislocate their cervical vertebrae is amazing. Enthralling posture to watch. Hooded Mergansers have similar posturing when showing off to their mates.
The afternoon light remained quite bright for photography even though the sun was sinking fast. The pintails are truly lovely to capture on film with that long, thin, black, spiky tail of theirs. Soon the sun sank behind the tree line and the chill in the air became intense. I had enjoyed my commune with the ducks immensely and now my fingers were really cold.
I headed out and chose to return to the city via the route that would take me past all the Osprey nests. It was fun but somewhat poignant to see all three nests sitting atop their structures, silently empty, abandoned and very lonely looking. None had grassy tops at this time. We need a lot more rain in order for the grass to fill the nest bowl like it did in the nests earlier this year. I was so glad I had made the effort to spend some time with my feathered friends on this clear, crisp afternoon.
I had forgotten to take my digital camera with me so am unable to add pictures to go with this account of Nature, however as soon as I get my prints I will post a few pics to show you all.
Nancy L 12/16/05 08:24 pm So nice you saw all those different ducks at once. I, too, pass many empty osprey nests on my outings. We must wait about 3 months!!
Marie 12/16/05 08:30 pm Oh, how could I forget!
Yesterday, while driving home in the twilight, the moon rose and it hung in a soft dark blue velvety sky like a huge, cream coloured marble..............it was a magnificent scene. One of those rare moments when the sky was absolutly clear.
Incidently, Venus in the early evening sky is huge right now. A gem of colour, clarity and brilliance.
Check it out.
Lori 12/16/05 10:04 pm It's an "ET" moon
cathy 12/17/05 11:53 pm I was wondering what that planet is that I see in the sky with the full moon. Thanks for taking me with you on your trip to the lagoon. I wish I could see that for myself.
Anne 12/18/05 03:56 pm I noticed that the moon is huge this weekend. I heard something about why, but cant remember - we need Tiger to explain it all. (What has happened to Tiger by the way?) And there was supposed to be a huge meteorite show but I dident see it.

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006