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Thursday, March 26, 2009


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Could he be seeing his reflection in the glass and attacking it territorially? I've seen a male cardinal do that with a mirror in the garden.

I love your duck tale. How do you know it's the same mallard pair every year? And I admire your restraint in not playing the whistle-blowing policeman when Mrs. Mallard led her ducks along the road. I'm not sure I could have let nature take its course without intervening, although you're probably right that it was for the best. It does sound as if she made it without incident.

The pics of the ducks are great. Is there anything cuter than a fuzzy duckling? And even the grown-ups are so quizzically adorable.


An absolutely stunning post! The photography is wonderful!!

Much loved!

Just a Plane Ride Away

Oh my, this is enchanting! It must be wonderful to see your old friends year after year. And lovely photographs!

Lisa at Greeenbow

It just goes to show that you have a healthy garden Linda. What fun watching Mallards coming and going. Their legs and feet are about as orange as your Koi.

The Mr is probably pecking at himself. Like Robins and Cardinals do during the mating season. Their hormones tell them to protect their territory from all others. They don't realize that it is their own reflection.

We used to have a pair stroll through our garden every spring. Now we have a fence, to keep the dog in, and the city covered the open ditch that ran by our house, so the mallards go to the retention pond across the street. It is still fun to see them strolling about the area.


What stunning photos of what I previously thought of as a very pedestrian bird. This is a wonderful story I like to think that Fred was sending you a message of thanks for the use of the pond.


Lovely! I love those ducklings. Soooo cute!


Wonderful story and beautiful pictures! Thank you!


Thanks, all, for the nice comments! I did a lot of reading and searching for info on mallards and still don't really know too much about them. But it had not occurred to me that Fred was doing the territorial thing. I think you are right on that Lisa and Pam, as he goes ballistic if another male shows up in the pond (which sometimes happens).

Without banding them, and then checking each spring, there is no real way of knowing if it's the same pair. We like to think it is, given we only ever have one pair and there are lots of ducks nearby but we never have a flock. Luckily we don't get Canada geese (an urban problem here) as their size would be out of scale with our garden!

Susan Elliott

Just wanted you to know that I absolutely adore reading your blog. It's a delightful read from beginning to end. Susan


Love the duck photos!


Susan — thanks for those kind words.

And Kate, your blog is just filled with great stories. Can't believe the one about the Bills. People here still remember when the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta. It was like the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. Those teams are iconic and losing them is as much about the psychological result as financial.


Hi Linda, this was just the best ever! Thanks so much for sharing it on your blog. The photos are superb and the narrative riveting. The photos of the babies are so sweet, Fred at the window hilarious, but Ethel on the rock with the goldfish in the background is pure art!


What a wonderful posting. The pictures of the ducklings made me go Ahhh. They are so cute.
Maybe he sees himself and wants to warn the other male duck away.


Babies and puppies and ducks! Fred and Ethel and the fish are really our surrogate children so we are glad that everyone appreciates them as much as we do.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter

How great to be able to enjoy ducks up close. I get to see ducks in the pond behind my garden, but only from a distance. Your shots of the ducklings are just adorable. That drake is just too funny, knocking on the door. Maybe he's looking for a handout.


We've only seen ducklings twice in 12 years but at least the last time we had a good camera to capture the moment.


Fabulous photos. My daughters loved the ducklings!

Nan Ondra

What a great story, Linda! You and your "urban ducks" - too funny. I can imagine it would be very difficult to watch them waddling across the busy streets. Thanks so much for sharing this post for the GGW Design Workshop this month.


It snowed again here on Saturday and the ducks had a rather hard landing this morning on a semi-frozen, slushy pond!


This was such a wonderful post (story and pictures. I've never had mallards in the backyard so am desperately envious and now have even more incentive to attempt a healthy, lovely garden space complete with water feature (if only to attract some ducks!).


The ducks are one of our greatest pleasures and something that we didn't really plan for — birds, bees, frogs; yes! Ducks, just luck!


Linda, I'm so glad I found this post!
Ethel and Fred are adorable, and those ducklings are precious. I loved reading your story, and the photos are delightful. Yes, the wildlife in the garden makes it a truly magical place. Thanks so much for sharing your joy.

garden design sydney

Garden landscapers these days have to be more than just garden builders and planters. Generally, people are demanding more and more from their garden landscapers. Requests such as installing a garden pond, water feature or water fountain are fast outstripping the more conventional garden makeovers. Garden makeover makes our home complete.

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