Communing with ducks

Since mid-winter, there has been a group of ducks that regularly visits our pond. The most we have seen at one time is seven. Would that qualify as “flock” of ducks? Anyway. I think they were a neighbor’s ducks, initially, but they like our pond, so we basically share joint custody now. I love it, too. I often admire them from afar as they paddle across the pond, flop their wings then shake their tail feathers upon leaving the water.

There were four ducks on our pond’s dock today, all preening themselves after their swim. I was pulling a large tree branch to the fire pit in our field and, after I dropped it off, I decided to see just how close I could get to this herd of ducks. In the past, merely walking in their direction motivated them to get back in the water. I casually walked over to check my mother’s memorial tree, which was roughly 30-40 feet from the band of ducks. They didn’t move. I slowly stepped a few feet closer while pretending to look for 4-leaf clovers in the grass. They didn’t move. This was getting exciting! I walked to the water’s edge, still about 20 feet from the dock where the mob of ducks remained quite content, and they again didn’t move. Every few minutes, I’d sidestep a foot or two closer to the dock, glance their way, then pretend I didn’t see them.

After several minutes of this maneuver, I was close enough to the dock that I could touch it, and they weren’t budging, but I waited a little longer. Sidestep once more, look at the troop of ducks who were still calm and happily sunning on the dock. Then, I went for it. I sat down on the dock, my back to the array of ducks, fully expecting that that would send them into the air, or into the pond. But, I didn’t hear flapping wings or the splash of water. I slowly turned my body around toward them and was a mere 6 feet from this gaggle of ducks. They didn’t fly away! I brought my legs up onto the dock, sat Indian style, and we communed with each other for 20-30 minutes, right there at our pond. The two largest ducks actually fell asleep, one perched on a single leg.

I enjoyed this interaction so much, communing with the gang of ducks, but all the while I was thinking, I really wish I had my camera. These would be some excellent photos. Next time, duckies. Next time!

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