NOTE: If you are at Botany Pond, PLEASE to not disturb or, above all, try to catch this duckling. It’s a tricky job, you have to know what to do and, above all, you need to know how to get the duckling into rehab. We will try again tomorrow. So far the tenacious little rascal is surviving and even eating.
Today I did what I didn’t think I’d have to do this season: go into to the pond to rescue the orphan mallard. I failed–twice. Once I got stuck in the mud in the big pond and had to be pulled out. (It’s cold and was raining hard.)
The second time I had the little bugger trapped in the channel but it managed to get away. I was SO close with my net! I fell down and went underwater in that attempt. The duckling escaped and went back into the big pond. I have to hand it to this baby: it’s very stalwart, but also keeps following hens, hoping that one is its mother. The hens reject it and peck at it. It’s ineffably sad.
It will be a miracle if this duckling survives. And the only way it will is if I can catch it, which means going back in the pond soon and trapping it in the channel. I am letting it rest now, and have put some newborn duck food on the duck islands, where it seems to hang out.
Right now I am at home after a long hot shower to wash off the mud and schistosome larvae. I doubt I’ll be posting more today. Both the duckling and I are traumatized, but the difference is that I will survive. Unless I take the plunge again, the duckling won’t.