Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Visit to the Ducks


Would you believe that it's 3:30 and already starting to feel like evening?  The heavy clouds and dripping skies aren't exactly helping.  Gunnar and I went out for a very soggy walk this morning, and that reminded me that I had a few pics I hadn't shared yet.  Pictures taken on a brighter day.

This is the alley behind our house.  Sometimes we head out this way to go visit the ducks.

We cross under a busy street to get to one of the duck ponds.

We see lots of birds around here.  The ducks, of course, as well as seagulls, great blue herons, pileated woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, red-tail hawks, bald eagles, and we've heard an owl.  And of course there are all the usual smaller birds... robins, chickadees, juncos, swallows, etc.

The ducks, you'll notice, are quite habituated to people.  Too bad for them, we were empty handed.  Of course, they're not exactly on the brink of starvation, are they.

Gunnar wanted to make sure you noticed these two.  They're both significantly bigger than all the other ducks and are quite obviously the bosses of the pond.  We're calling them Jake and Elwood.

And here's a female.  On the shore here, you can see how effectively she can be camouflaged if she just sits on her big orange feet.  In general, female birds have much less colorful plumage than the males.  Well, gee, guess who sits on the eggs?  She needs to be hidden.  It's much safer to be plain than showy.  *Ahem*

Gunnar likes the duck pond best, but there's a larger pond just a little ways downhill that I like.  We often walk around the back of it and catch glimpses through the trees.

More big-leaf maples getting ready to drop their last leaves.

Lots of alders and cottonwoods surround the pond.

And here it is from the opposite end.

Well.  And in other news, Gunnar had his babysitting job today, which he loves.  He watches a little two-year-old boy while his mom volunteers at the neighborhood school.  (She has an older boy in kindy.)  But, oh joy, there's lice in the kindergarten classroom.  She's watching her boys like a hawk and they're clear, but my head is itching in sympathy.

Tate has helped Gunnar prep his uniform in anticipation of CAP tonight.  Gunnar wants to look extra-spiffy because... he's going to promote!  They've ironed his BDUs and right now they're downstairs "shining" his boots.  Well, honestly, those hand-me-down boots are never going to truly shine, but at least they can remove the weekend's mud, and get them nice and black.

Wyatt is in hog-heaven because the shoe-shine kit he ordered from Amazon with his own money finally came today.  And let me tell you, those are words I never thought I'd be saying.  Apparently he learned a new way to shine his shoes and boots at the October training weekend.  He's finishing up his school work for the day with some extra reading in his government book since he convinced me that he doesn't have time to do today's Chemistry experiment, which involves measuring a molecule.  I have no idea how you could measure a molecule, but the experiment involved a lot of weighing and measuring, a bowl of water, a drop of soap, some pepper, and a lot of math that I don't begin to understand.

Gunnar and I have been reading some of the old Greek myths.  You'd be surprised how many Greek fathers (little kings) received the prophecy that their sons would surpass them.  And their reaction was to eliminate the competition.  Abandon the son in the wilderness.  Kill him.

Me?  I'm glad they're smarter than me, and may their tribe increase!

1 comment:

Rebecca D said...

It looks like a beautiful place to walk... We have a spot a bit like it not too far from here that we like to walk to... Actually, there is no duck pond... Actually, other then trees and "nature" it is nothing like it... Oh, wait... It is beautiful too! See... I knew I'd circle in on a point! :)
PS. Why does the mere mention of lice make us itch... I have been trying to resist since I read your post and now my whole head feels like it has bugs on it! Aghhh!