Two Broods of Mallards; Floods and Wild Fires/

It’s quite a contrast with the Northern Gate of Yellowstone National Park closed due to flooding while all points South of it are bone dry. There are all sorts of speculations that might be made but the only one worth anything is “they are getting a lot of rain.” The jet stream is not as predictable as we would like it to be; granted it doesn’t change for decades then the “Pineapple express” is cleared and the rain doesn’t stop. I don’t know if it has happened during the dry summer season but it has happened during the Winter of 1862 when the entire Western U.S. flooded.

Mean while the Wildfires are burning vigorously in New Mexico, Arizona and the California border between Arizona. We are out of water.

I was happy to see the Mallard Ducklings this morning, they are those I lost track of earlier this month. I had seen one lonely Duckling swimming around a dock, I had suspected a Fox or other critter had found the nest. It was built on the near levee about 75 feet from where I am; they were a common sight until I saw the lone Duckling. I am not sure if the loner survived.

Both of these photos were taken during the past two days, the brood above is the oldest of the two. I have been watching this group since they were hatched, nearly every day they parade along the shoreline. Now that I have seen the younger bunch I will most likely see them often as well. The fledgelings in the above photo will be flying soon, I have been expecting it this week.

The male Mallard in it’s glory with full color and the bright green head which had been purple until a few weeks ago. He has now abandoned the Mother and brood because that’s what Mallard males do. I have mentioned this in other blogs Rabbits can’t look sky wards (up) and Male Mallards can’t quack; go figure eh.

The Female Mallard (English pronunciation is Ma-Lard.) is the real rock when it comes to raising the brood. She is now handling everything pertaining to them, eating, swimming and eventually flying which will be soon. If it doesn’t happen within the next few days I will have one of my cameras back; I am anxious for the show.

Hopefully some of the new Mallards will return to our slough and make it their seasonal nesting grounds. The Canadians have done so as the the Great White Bellied Geese have; they have returned now for the last 5 years. This is a safe nesting area for them, the closest hunting is a few miles away. Most of the Duck hunting is done on remote Islands that have flooded. The best day is drizzling, windy, overcast and ice cold, at times it’s hard to keep the dog from running back to the truck; that is the reason I no longer hunt Ducks the misery factor is too much to deal with.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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