My fickle duck

Honey has disappeared again, and who knows if it’s the last time I saw her. She was there much of the day yesterday, but came when I called only once out of three visits. She preferred to stand on the “duck island”, fitting herself in between the red sliders sunning themselves.

Perhaps the eclipse discombobulated her. I’m not ready to say she’s gone, so stay tuned.


  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Photo title: Honey Duck & the Sliders prepare to sing a medley of their Greatest Hits…

  2. Posted August 22, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t know much about ducks, but I suppose she is feeling the call of the wild.

  3. Liz
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    This is the best picture!

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Well, I had my regular camera (Panasonic Lumix) for one thing!

      • Liz
        Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        The camera can make all the difference. I love how the contrast of bold and calming greens highlights Honey’s orange and gold.

  4. Sastra
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Honey is “ducking” you.

    Where do you think the word came from?

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, the Oxford English Dictionary says the word is a corruption of “jouk” or “jook”, a “Scottish word of unknown origin”:

      3. trans. To evade, elude, ‘dodge’, by ducking, bending, or springing aside.

      1812 W. Ranken Poems 36 Fain wad he the bargain jeuket, But his honour was at stake.

      1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders xviii. 165 Ye micht possibly hae juiked (dodged) the blunderbush.

      1901 N.E.D. at Jouk Mod. Sc. Every sodger at first tries to jouk the bullets.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        But the online etymology dictionary traces it to Old English:

        “duck (n.1) waterfowl, Old English duce (found only in genitive ducan) “a duck,” literally “a ducker,” presumed to be from Old English *ducan “to duck, dive” (see duck (v.)). Replaced Old English ened as the name for the bird, this being from PIE *aneti-, the root of the “duck” noun in most Indo-European languages.” Buck’s Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages concurs.

        • nicky
          Posted August 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Eend in Dutch, Ant in Danish, Ente in German, Anatra in Italian, Anatis in Latin. But there are some different ones in Indo-european languages besides the ‘Duck’. Canard in French, Pato in Spanish and Portugese, Patka in some Slavic languages and Papia in Greek. In north and east Slavic areas it is Kacha or variations thereof.
          (In Xhosa and Zulu it is iDada or amaDada, and Pidipidi in seTswana).
          So the ‘duck’, like ‘canard’ appears to be unique in Indo-European languages. But maybe a linguist would think otherwise.

      • Posted August 22, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        My observation of the wild ducks visiting my garden is that they’ll duck down in the long grass and vegetation to hide from me. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the assignation.

  5. Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The beautiful female duck with three loyal turtle companions remind me of this beautiful piece of music from the 17th century, Monteverdi’s Lamento della Ninfa. Reader Taskin will certainly appreciate it.

    • Taskin
      Posted August 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Wow, that’s spectacular! I love the combination of instruments they used here, such luxury to have so many colours.
      In light of the photo above, it was impossible not to think of the three male singers as turtles. Thanks for the link 🙂

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always found The Stylistics to be a balm under such circumstances:

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Though Honey may or may not have departed for good, thoughPCC(E) is by no means “ancient,” and though John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester’s poem “Song of A Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover” is quite ribald, Honey’s fickleness (torn between environment — food and genetics — migration) brought the first stanza of that poem to mind, with a slight correction.

    Ancient person, for whom I
    All the quacking drakes defy,
    Long be it ere thou grow old,
    Aching, shaking, crazy, cold;
    But still continue as thou art,
    Ancient person of my heart.

    Then there is “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash

    And whether she stays or goes, one knows that PCC(E) will remain “Ancient person of [her] heart.” How could she ever forget those repasts!

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      As a friend said, “You might not recognize her, but she’ll recognize you.” Well, now I think I can because of her beak markings.

      Thanks for the poem!

    • nicky
      Posted August 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Domducks age as well as fulmars do?

  8. Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Even if she leaves, perhaps she will return next year. I had a pair of Canada geese nest in the pond by my house every year for 15 years. During the latter part of that time, the gander came when I called and ate from my hand. Each year, the pair would bring their goslings to meet me (and to eat the birdseed I provided).

  9. Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    She is her own duck and duck off she will…

  10. rickflick
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Ha, the boys from KMA radio, Shenandoah, Ia.

  11. Posted August 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Must be hormones, man!

  12. Sian Evans
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    She is not fickle – your expectations are too high.

  13. Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photo! Makes me wish for a tale to which it is an illustration.

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