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Adirondack Chronicles 2018.5: Mother Ducks Know Best


Miles of back roads up here are dirt roads, some with gravel surfaces like the road above.  I was many miles into the forest on this road to Stillwater when I saw this mother duck herding her three chicks down a slope on the road.  I knew that up ahead were some heavy equipment trucks working on culverts and grooming the gravel surface — July means road work in the short summer season here. So the ducks probably were disturbed from their habitat and in search of a new pond.  Fortunately, an outlet at the bottom of the slope led to some nice water.  I watched as the mom led her babies through the underbrush, and she plunged in to show them the way, and the chicks followed fast behind:

They hurried along to a place of safety among the tall grasses in the marsh, and mother duck kept looking around the whole time to be sure her kids were safe.  That’s what moms do!

A frog watched from the mud, seemingly unimpressed but knowing enough to stay quiet:

Overhead, the kind of predator the mother ducks fear was sitting on a wire looking in a different direction:

Meanwhile, this double-winged dragonfly was showing off — but staying high above the frog so as not to become dinner!

Speaking of dinner, the wild turkey population up here is abundant…. I counted eight baby turkeys with these two parent birds racing up the hillside to get away from the photographer…. rest assured Thanksgiving will be well stocked!  And that portrait of a turkey… reminds me of some members of Congress….

On the way home, I saw a mama bear and cub saunter across the road ahead — too fast for the camera — and on a different lake another mother duck was taking her brood across the broad water:

Having dinner on the deck, I was serenaded by the lovely call of a loon….. a perfect ending for a “ducky” day! And all reminders of the beautiful sights, sounds and rhythms of nature — and the importance of environmental stewardship to be sure these lovely critters and beautiful places remain safe for all kinds of wildlife (and humans, too!).


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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
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