Friday, May 13, 2011

Fine Feathered Friends

Saturday morning, ahead of the sun, the mother bolted into my room and awakened me from a very pleasant and peaceful slumber. The weekends are the one time of the week that I am not dressed and out the door, usually well before sunrise, so I relish these early morning extended visits to the unconscious realm.

“Hey!” she cried. “C’mere. Quick. There’s a mallard duck and his mate out in the driveway.” Without completely opening my eyes, I muttered, That’s nice. And then returned immediately to my prior state.

But within 15 minutes, she was back. And insistent. “Aren’t you coming?” she half yelled. “I thought you’d bring your camera.”

Did she honestly not see that I hadn’t stirred? No. Let me sleep, I protested grumpily. Dammit, I know what ducks look like. Big deal. But it was no use. This time she had succeeded in pulling me from Dreamland and I would not be able to return as easily as before. So, I got up. And I got my camera.

Unfortunately, there were too many challenges to get a decent shot. 1) A bleary-eyed photographer, still in a mild state of protest; 2)a funky camera angle through a multi-paned and grubby window; 3) a dying set of batteries which was making auto-focus go bananas; and 4) two moving targets.

These are the best of the half-dozen shots I did take. Not very good. Oh well.

In between myriad activities on Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from the mother. “They’re back!” she exclaimed. “They’re out there right now with the squirrels, eating.” We regularly put seeds, moldy bread and fruit out for the menagerie of creatures in our yard – bunnies, squirrels, robins, sparrows, a lone pair of cardinals, an occasional raccoon or owl.

Arriving home, the first thing I noticed is that they were still in the yard, eating happily. I quickly ditched my stuff and emerged from the house, camera in hand. It’s the only way you’ll ever see me shoot a duck.

They were out there again last night, near dusk. I watered down the driveway in a section we don’t drive on so they had pools to pick from but they diffidently waddled off instead. If I see them tonight or over the weekend, I guess they’ll have to be officially added to our creature collection – and may warrant names.


Kathy said...

Charge up those batteries. If you're seeing a pair frequently now, you'll likely see some ducklings soon.

Jayne said...

How cool! I love ducks. Hope these do have ducklings so you can share the pics.