Friday, July 2, 2010

Honk if You Like Geese and Ducks

I have a history with ducks. Ever since I hatched my first ducklings in the late 90's I have had an affinity for the feathery little creatures.

I'd like to think that over the years, I've become quite the duck expert. For example, ducks take 28 days to grow and develop inside their little orbs. They can instinctively swim upon hatching and need very little instruction to locate food. Clever.

A couple days ago I happened to be down by the lake. At the marina, there's a lovely area with a large sandbank. I saw dozens upon dozens of ducks, geese, swans and seagulls in the water. I've never seen so much wildlife in such a small area. In fact, counting them would have been impossible.

I wandered along the sandy beach, took a few photos and observed for a time. It was a lovely day and the sky was blue. I was amazed at the sight of all these magnificent groups of birds. As I turned to walk back toward the parking lot, I had the sense that I was being followed. I turned and saw a few ducks behind me. Although I was well aware of the concept of "imprinting" these ducks were not babies. Then, I noticed that the throngs, or gaggles as it were, of geese on the lake were also pointing in my direction. I became a bit unnerved but continued to walk gingerly across the sand trying to avoid soiling my shoes with the assorted droppings.

When many of the birds, left the water and began closing in, I decided to back away, rather than walk away from them. It made me feel more secure somehow and allowed me to be more aware of the goings on behind my back. I realized too, that I was having a brief flashback of a Hitchcock movie and didn't like the eerie feeling I was getting. On the other hand, it was kind of unusual. There were people in the parking lot looking somewhat perplexed when they spotted my following.

My feathery friends couldn't be dissauded and continued getting closer. At this point, I was close enough to the car that I turned, ran and leapt into the auto. I'm not certain how I created this hypnotic effect on the wildlife. Maybe they just liked having their pictures taken. On the other hand, I would be flattered if someone wanted to call me "The Duck Whisperer".
"Don't Get One Webbed Foot Closer!"

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