This morning when I went outside it was a fairly calm morning with the wind from the South at about 3mph; it’s the direction our storms come from. While looking around the slough I spied a small figure in the water within 50 feet of me that was moving. It was a Duckling all alone at the end of the old dock next door. It didn’t make sense because normally (every time I’ve seen ducklings anyway) at least the mother is somewhere nearby. I did not see her anywhere, if they are Mallards the male doesn’t stick around for child rearing duties.
The small bird swam around the end of the dock and towards the shore on the far side. I have seen a pair of Mallards with their brood swimming between the fingers of the dock earlier last week. It’s possible they have been nesting on this side of the slough in the Tules and brush along the levee shoreline. I was watching for an hour never seeing other than the Duckling, yeh I’m concerned a Fox, Mink or Coyote staged a midnight raid. But that doesn’t jive too well either; a mother Duck is one to be contended with. I can hope and wish all I want but the proof is in the pudding; tomorrow morning may complete the story if I see the Ducks.
While waiting I managed to take several photos of the Canadian Geese, Blue Herons and Egrets. At times I feel my pictures of Canadians is a bit out of hand; I admit to taking a lot of images of them. Part of photography is taking pictures of the same subject in an effort to outdo the last ones and capture that perfect image. Whether it happens or not doesn’t mean much, it’s the plan, effort and goal as I’m concerned. I captured an interesting landing sequence with an added bonus they landed in front of where I was set-up.
The picture above is the stage of a water landing I like to capture, it appears as if the Goose is water-sking. When taken just right with the correct lighting the rippled water takes on a glass like appearance; unfortunately it didn’t happen in this image. But it is nice to have pictures in editing that need hardly a touchup, if it wasn’t shot in raw the jpeg would most likely have been good. But again it’s focus, distance and lighting. I often achieve two of those with the third being a bit elusive.
The Canadians brake system worked flawlessly in the picture above. The next photo I took was not good and was deleted. It was a good composition, distance and light as well; I missed on the focus but the water is better defined in this one. The Geese did not stay on the water for long about 2 minutes until they were off once again.
Making their exit as they typically do taking off into the wind which at this time had increased to 7mph and increasing. The temperature was 57º Fahrenheit pleasant without a breeze but sweatshirt weather as the wind increased. I’m not sure where they stowed their brood I’m certain it is near to me; perhaps the Duckling I saw was actually a Gosling. From the distance I was the only features I noticed was the yellow plumage with black stripes; typical of most Ducks and Geese. No telling what tomorrow will bring, most likely for me less answers than questions.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance