"I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave far behind me." Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Just Ducky! No Ducks but a Lone Bachelor Drake

"Be like a duck. 
Calm on the surface, 
but always paddling 
like the dickens underneath."
Michael Caine 
Rick Wackeman's instumental - "Ducks and Drakes"
A couple of weeks ago, I finally got my first indication that summer was truly underway. A personal tradition that began way back in 2008. Back then I shot a photo the first one of a pair of ducks, swimming on the pond/fountain at the complex where I work. I say pond/fountain as because it is so big I am never sure, even with the water spouts, whether it is one or the other. You could even describe it as a pool. If they didn't empty it for winter, it would make a jolly good skating rink. If they failed to empty it, it would crack from the expanding water as it froze.
Back to the story at hand. This first occurrence also sparked a rather mediocre poem titled The Cool Silent Circle, written for a competition, which required me to use a particular group of words. The pond/fountain is protected from the less that charming elements of the public that would harass the birds, if they swimming on the Danube. The poem was heavy on the secure aspect of this location.
Generally, the ducks make an appearance each year around early May, and usually always in pairs. I think it has been the same pair each year, and sometimes accompanied by one or more of their most recent brood. This year the fountain was filled weeks later than usual. No idea why. It may have been a cost saving exercise. It may have been the unseasonally cool weather. So the first and only fowl that turned up was the young drake, featured in the pictures above, during the first week of June.
I suspect he was young, as most of the older birds are usually paired off and are always there with their mates. This young bachelor was enjoying his peaceful evening swim, at the time the photos were shot. The water jets are switched off at 1700 hours every evening, so only the wind rippled the water.
The people sitting around the pond didn't worry him, not even the few kids that were there. He was as curious as the previous pairs and their offspring. The young drake swam up to anyone who arrived at the edge of the pond, giving them the once over. I suspect he may have been looking for handouts. He would then glide off, through the water, until the next two legged arrivals peeked his curiosity.
It is nice to have seen him, even if he only stayed for the evening. The month of May had been a bit disappointing, without that private indication of summer being on its way. Just as disappointing as the weather had been. Since I have seen this little chap, I truly feel that summer has been heralded and the weather has started to behave in agreement. 
To conclude, I am going to include, in the spirit of summer fun, some crazy duck videos, I like from YouTube. You just can't help loving ducks. From Donald to Daffy on to the irritating duck in the following videos, ducks just can't help being cute. 
 The Duck Song Part 1,2 And 3
YouTube Channel - 1w1q1o1p
The Duck Song 2: Duck Wars
YouTube Channel - Warm Milk Productions Inc
"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, 
we have at least to consider the possibility 
that we have a small aquatic bird 
of the family anatidae on our hands."
Douglas Adams

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