Friday, March 6, 2009

The Strange Case of the Untimely Duck

We're a little north of where mallards winter, but once in a while we see one of those green-headed wonders in the dead of winter. I have no idea whether they're the avian equivalent of daring explorers, or ditsy ducks with poor navigation skills.

I saw one of these out-of-season mallards the other day, out by mosquito flats. He was walking around on one of the ponds. Maybe it was my imagination, but he seemed to have a puzzled look. I half-expected him to stamp on the ice, to see if it really was solid.

He's probably getting his food from around the dam: There's open water there year-round, almost. Or maybe he spends most of his time around one of the spring-fed lakes. It's a rare winter that doesn't have open water somewhere.

That's good for the occasional misdirected duck, but not so good for ice fishing enthusiasts, cross country skiers, and other folks who like to get out in winter. After the fact, it's fun to have a story about putting a leg through an ice fishing hole, or walking a mile in frozen snowmobile pants. But when it happens, breaking through ice is just plain dangerous.

Back to Dudley, the misdirected mallard.

He waddled around for a little while, pausing now and again, and finally flew off. Almost any other creature, and I could imagine that it was contemplating the wintry landscape. But there's no level of willing suspension of disbelief that'll make a duck seem intellectual.

No comments:

("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Loonfoot Falls Watchers