Friday, January 07, 2011

Wet And Wild

Sprucing up or just playing around? Posted by Picasa

"You don't drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there." ~ Edwin Cole
I don't know if this goose is just playing around with the water or really taking a bath. But the old saying is true... "like water off of a duck's back"... the water doesn't seem to get them that wet, what with the oily coating on each feather they so carefully preen and distribute to the very tips. It's like a natural wet suit for these water loving creatures.

With the colder weather this fall our full compliment of geese and ducks has returned. Canada geese are here all year and their numbers are multiplying, but others migrate in and out. We live sort of sandwiched in between two golf courses and a preserve and are about five miles from the northeastern edge of the Great Dismal Swamp. Along the main east-west (sort of) road, the golf course has a long and narrow pond. When we have the remnants of tropical storms or nor'easters with ten or twelve inches of rain, this pond overflows and has even flooded the road. Water expands to fill the adjacent sand traps as well. With this fall's cold temperatures after Thanksgiving ice formed around the edges and in the shaded spots.

Here the seagulls, ducks and geese gather, somedays it looks like a huge church congregation. The Canada geese first meet and have breakfast on the golf course.. bits of grass ... or they are across the road at the community college at another restaurant. Usually there is a group of twenty or so smaller ducks, huddled on the sand in long rows two or three deep... they are the choir in practice. A few mallards float on the calm waters... they just keep together in family groups or the never ending pursuit of two males after one female. One or two crane watch the proceedings from a rock at the edge... keeping to themselves. And the seagulls make their dissonant noise... often drowning out the choir. Eventually, the Canada geese gather into one force, waddling across the four lane road and stopping traffic in the process. The group floats quietly on the pond... and the service begins.

As with their human counterparts... the attendance at these services seems greater in the winter... I guess they are all at the beach in the summer. I haven't been back to Mt. Trashmore since we moved to Chesapeake... I wonder how their attendance is going?

(end of post)
Carmi's Theme ~ Wet
See It Sunday ~ Birds


kenju said...

We seem to have more seagulls than ever before and our propulations of Canada geese makes me wonder how there can be any left in the world elsewhere. They are everywhere you look here, and many of them stay all year.

sandra said...

and their wet suits must protect them from cold water. Meda in Bosnia shows swans and ducks floating in icy covered ponds in below zero weather. i like all that splashing and i think he is bathing AND having a good time. i have heard of the Great Dismal Swamp, do you have photos or do you ever go to the swamp? i would love to see it. i am about 3 hours away from the Everglades swamp and would love to see it but never have.

Ginny Hartzler said...

What a wonderful picture and a good description of all their going's on!!

Max said...

That was cool, catching the bird at just the right time.

janie said...

great photo, loved the description of sunday's congregation :)

Carmi said...

Leave it to those nasty Canadians to raise a ruckus :) And leave it to you to tell a story that matches the photo for richness and depth - as I've so often felt when dropping in for a visit, I felt like I saw it with you.

Max is right: The timing on this shot could not be more perfect. Love it!

Rambling Woods said...

Love the ducks...I have some flying in at dusk so hungry for the cracked corn I have. I have no idea where they find some open water. Must be on the lake or river...poor things...Michelle

colleen said...

Makes me go brrrrrr.  I hope they don't fall out of the sky like so many birds have been doing.  I"ve always said if I was going to be an animal I'd pick a duck because they can fly and swim!

Bobkat said...

The cold water never seesm to bother them does it? I guess it never really gets near their skin but then you have to wonder that they don't feel a little chill sitting with their bottoms and feet in it for so long! LoL!

Love your description of them - you are a great observer of life y'know : )

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