Anna Mueller’s namesake, the hen Anna Mallard, is still with us, along with her eight healthy ducklings, but Human Anna is leaving tomorrow to take a job at Indiana University in Bloomington. I doubt that she’ll return for the rest of the summer, and so the ducks she tended will grow, and then depart, and she won’t see that. But I will keep her updated with doings at Botany Pond.
Anna was glad that we named the new mallard hen after her, and expressed her happiness on Twitter, as you see below. (Note that Twitter considers some of my duck pictures to be “sensitive content”, which is part of the site’s algorithmic stupidity. I think it comes from my having tweeted Jesus and Mo cartoons!)
— Anna Mueller (@procAnna) June 11, 2019
Is there a place for this on my CV? 🤣🤣😉 https://t.co/olPfF8K5gJ
— Anna Mueller (@procAnna) June 12, 2019
Before moving, it is not recommended to travel to 4 states/provinces across 2 countries, via 5 flights in <7 days…however, seeing 2 branches of my fam & getting some awesome fieldwork done…only to come home to new baby ducks = worth it. #AnnaMueller & #AnnaMallard #BotanyPond pic.twitter.com/KniArm3ltE
— Anna Mueller (@procAnna) June 15, 2019
So Anna came over to Botany Pond last Saturday, graduation day at the U of C, so we could give the ducks and ducklings their last supper from the two of us. She also brought organic strawberries and blueberries as a special treat for the waterfowl.
The ducks turned up their bills at the strawberries, but did go after the blueberries, though they had a hard time processing them. I think the fruits were too hard to squash with their bills. Here we see one of Katie’s teenaged ducklings going after a blueberry, trying to squash it, dropping it, dabbling it back up, and finally losing it in the pond (or so it seems to me):
Anna feeding the eight-duckling brood of her namesake:
It made both her and the ducks happy:
She didn’t neglect Katie’s brood, either. Here she feeds what she called the “Angry Teenagers”, because they got pissed off when we ran out of food at mealtime. You can see the expensive but uneaten strawberries on the bank.
And Anna took the obligatory selfies with me, Anna’s brood and Katie’s brood. I was unshaven and haggard after a long weekend of work, but I’ll be spiffy when I travel the day after writing this. Katie et al. are in the background:
Some graduates posing by Botany Pond (a favorite post-graduation picture spot), and there are some tiny ducklings among the water lilies that are invisible.
So farewell to Dr. Mueller, and best of luck in her new job! She was a superb duck farmer, and we will miss her. I only hope that she finds some new ducks to tend Bloomington.
Duck reports will be fewer in the next three weeks as I’ll be in Hawaii, but our two Duck Farmers promise to provide me with regular reports, and I’ll pass those on to you.