News from the Pond
Remember me talking about the duck with the lame foot? (That post is here.) Well, this is he, a few months ago, before his (male) colors were fully showing. It it fascinating to watch the ducks take on their adult plumage. They all look the same as ducklings and teenagers, and then the males get a curl in the tail feathers, and then the heads start to take on the distinctive mallard green, and then the stripes and spots disappear. Like most species, they go through an awkward phase of adolescence between the fuzzy cuteness of being little and the elegance of adulthood in which they sometimes look like their former selves and sometimes look like adults and mostly just look like something in betwen.
I'm glad to have found this photo among the ones I took during the summer so you can see his foot and see how he looked back then.
All of the ducks have left the pond now, except for two. This guy, and a female companion (!) have stayed. I'm guessing they will spend the winter here. I am glad that he has found a mate and will have and be company! Some folks have been coming to the pond with cracked corn to feed them, so I'm sure they will do well during the winter months when the pond grasses are more sparse.
Here's what the happy couple looks like now, all grown up, swimming in the pond this week. (This is a reasonable facsimile, actually, but you get the point.)