I was going to write another post today: about immigration, the Wall, and Andrew Sullivan, but I see people are busy crowing about Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s demonization, which makes another post superfluous, and also makes me disheartened.
Let’s talk instead about DUCKS! Here’s today’s report on Anas platyrhynchos in Botany pond. First, a video from Friday taken by Anna. She was standing on the far side of the pond with the family, and I came walking out of the building. Anna claims (and I believe her, of course) that when Honey saw me, she perked up, and then so did the ducklings. In other words, before I had said a word or whistled, and before I even was close to the ducks, Honey recognized me from at least thirty yards away as The Feeder. Judge for yourself below; you can hear Anna talking to the camera.
I think this is true because when I came out in the dawn this morning with the food, and was at the same place, with the family at the place below, they immediately all piled into the water and headed toward their feeding spot. My ducks know me!
Early morning feeding yesterday, with the family roaming on the grass. That’s when I can give them corn. Look at the size of those ducklings!
Bathtime after noon feeding. For some reason the ducklings love to splash about in this shallow cement circle (you can see the ramp I built earlier, now submerged). Perhaps it’s because they can actually stand up in some parts of the “tub”:
There’s turtle action too, of course—if you can call it “action”—but the hard freeze apparently killed off all the koi (goldfish) that were there last year. But there are a gazillion turtles, and their place in the ecosystem is to clean up any uneaten duck food. (Anna, who’s soft on turtles, actually feeds them.) Bathtime with reptiles and their avian relatives:
Bathtime is my favorite time. Dabbling, cleaning, swimming underwater and popping up, and sometimes “zooming”, when all the ducks, without any apparent cause, swim as fast as they can across the pond.
And some portraits of Ms. Honey:
Mit Kind. The youngsters are starting to approach the appearance of Mom. I wish I could tell male from female ducklings. I’d like to have a goodly proportion of females this year.