Wednesday, May 23, 2007

DA** Ducks

When we first moved to this house some seven and a half years ago, we thought that it was cool that we were right across the street from our local river. This river, I found out, covers a lot of our town ... I think the statistic for our town is that over 60 percent of it is covered in water (I think that includes our reservoirs, too).

We used to think this:

and this:

were cute.

I remember our across the street neighbors clucking their tongues at us when we fed the ducks bread because you know, that's what you do with ducks.

I laughed at the director of our local park district when they put out the mandate to stop feeding the ducks and geese at the water's edge. I thought he was a total idiot because WHO hated ducks and geese? They are part of river life.

Then my opinion of ducks was forever changed.

Did you know that drakes are relentless in their mating?

It was the first year we lived here, and my inlaws were up for a visit. They were standing at the front of my house, looking at three ducks in my yard: two males and one unfortunate female. A drake will stand by her woman until she lays her eggs. Then it is sayonara, baby. You take care of the kids from now on. Typical man.

So we had a drake and his woman in our yard, and then another drake entered the picture. The love triangle was a brief but deadly one. The drakes fought so much over her that one of them ended up breaking her neck. So we were left with duck disposal. And where they had fought, they had beaten down an area of the grass. I asked Ace to go out and cut it as soon as possible because I couldn't stand seeing that physical reminder of the murder.

A few years later, we had a drake and hen lurking around in our backyard. We didn't think too much of it. Then we had a nest of eggs in a plant right behind our garage. We told the Queen about it, but didn't tell the Man because we had all of these not so nice visions running through our heads. We thought "cool ... a teaching opportunity." We had NO idea how she was going to lead the ducklings across a busy street to the river. We just weren't going to watch.

About one week after she laid her eggs, we heard a scuffle in the front yard. Sure enough, there was a dead hen in our yard. Again. We feared that it was THE hen, so we watched her nest. And sure enough, it was her. Her eggs became unviable (we even called the park district ... you remember the ones ... get rid of the ducks of our county), so Ace had to dispose of her body AND her eggs.

So now when we see those stupid birds in our yard we know (1) that it is springtime and (2) nature will rear its ugly head at some point. But I will have to say this: the park district. SMART people. By not feeding these birds at the water's edge, the ducks have seriously left for other waters. We don't have as many infiltrators as we used to.

Now if we can just work on the stupid Canadian geese who seem to think this place looks like Niagra Falls.

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2 Comments:

Blogger The "Mind" said...

And here I was thinking, "Yes, she's cursing the the Ducks", as in Anaheim. Gee, sports on the brain much, Mind?

Living near the water, I know your pain. I'm forever cursing those Canadian geese when walking through the park and having to dodge goose-shit.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous jenn said...

you know, I never thought of ducks being such a problem. A river runs through the middle of our town and everyone goes to feed the ducks and geese.

There are no homes around the river though, at least not where most of the ducks seem to congregate.

It's mostly businesses, but this makes me wonder what type of problems they have with them.

yuck! I wouldn't want to clean up dead ducks.

12:55 PM  

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The Lovely She, that is me!

I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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The nine-year-old who seems to be growing older every minute, has an opinion and a comment for everything, and has a true servant's heart.
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