Remembrance of ducks past

While going through my photos from last summer, I found a gazillion photos of Honey and her brood, as well as of sundry drakes like James and Billzebub. Among the photos, though, was this one, showing Honey teaching her ducklings how to preen. I thought it was cute and present it for your delectation:

28 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “Honey teaching her ducklings ”

    [ inspects photo to ascertain claim ]
    [ not a single ducking paying attention]
    [ not a single duckling copying Honey’s example ]

    result : claim is true. Honey is teaching her ducklings.

    • Posted November 25, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Exactly what is the point of your comment? This photo captures just a moment in time, and the ducklings could well have been apeing her but it’s not in the photo.

      But I’m sure your inspection of this one photo trumps my months of watching Honey teaching ducklings to do this and that.

      What, exactly, prompted you to be a cranky smartass this afternoon?

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Parents frequently try to teach kids things, and this is frequently how it goes. I imagine Honey struggling to teach, saying “No! Like this! Look! Pay attention now!” and the ducklings are struggling to get it right. Further, I imagine Honey becoming exhausted – “well, it’s time for lunch – let’s try again later.”

        I apologize if my interpretation came across cranky and smartassed. I leave it to any parents out there to say if it’s just me.

        • Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          For the record, I read it as I think you intended — as a humourous observation of child behaviour. Maybe a smiley emoji or whatever they’re called might have cleared up the ambiguity, though.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            That helps – and it seems I’m not banned. I really didn’t need this today.

            See below for my Botany Pond cheer!

          • Diane G
            Posted November 27, 2018 at 3:16 am | Permalink

            That’s how I read it, too.

            🙂

          • Posted November 27, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            Me too.

        • JezGrove
          Posted November 25, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          It’s very definitely not just you, ThyroidPlanet! And mother ducks start out with the advantage of imprinting and their offspring following their every move without questioning anything…

  2. W.T. Effingham
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    The ducklings seem to be holding a “Who looks most like mom?” competition .

  3. rickflick
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s like a yawn. Once person, then the others follow reflexively.
    I wonder how much of typical behavior would develop in the absence of a “role model”. Would some things be left out? Would the chicks survive?
    My daughter raised chicks without their parent in the mix, but that wasn’t a fair test since they were domestic and cared for by her.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Consistent with the re-translation of the title of Proust’s magnum opus, I think you oughta hafta change your header to “In Search of Lost Ducks.” 🙂

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Of all the photos one can keep, the animals are always the best. They are interesting and always seem special. Unlike people they don’t give you a hard time.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted November 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Animals absolutely are interesting and special.

      “Unlike people they don’t give you a hard time.”

      Um, exactly how much time have you actually spent around animals?

      L

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Lets see, I have been married for more than 42 years and through much of that time we have had cats. I won’t say more.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        He must mean pictures of animals.

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted November 25, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      +1

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    This additional comment is all serious – no humor at all :

    I feel awful about my comment even if anyone saw any humor in it at all. I’m really sorry. It’s a great photo, I love it, and every one on this series. I feel like I’ve ruined a beautiful thing. I’ve done this in my life before elsewhere and it is one of the worst feelings. And what’s worse is I’m making it about me now. Again, I apologize. Again I’m entirely sincere here.

    • Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Your humor is subtle but, FWIW, I got it. If the ducklings had phones, they’d be looking at them.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Thank you

        It seems this’ll fortunately be just another one I’ll have to sleep off,

        And no more WEIT for me today.

        Here’s to Honey! I look forward to Springtime in Botany Pond and all of The Broods’ assiduous friends! May their speculums shimmer with more than Platyrhinchean splendor!…. I’m asking for it again, aren’t I…

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          I got the humour too, and thought it was funny. It’s hard to get stuff right in writing. I suspect that’s why emojis were invented.

          My main memory of this problem (because it came soon after I started having ideas about writing myself) was of a whole lot of Condaleeza Rice’s students being interviewed when she got the job in the Bush administration. One of them said, “She’s cool.” Because I read it in a newspaper I had no idea whether he liked her or thought she was a cold fish.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted November 26, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            cool

            I mean

            thanks

    • Posted November 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I also got it — see my comment above. I also assume Prof Ceiling Cat would accept your clarification.

    • Diane G
      Posted November 27, 2018 at 3:22 am | Permalink

      I know that sinking feeling in the pit of one’s stomach when something one posts here is read the wrong way. It was years ago, but it does ruin your day, doesn’t it? It helps to remember just how rapidly Jerry must have to skim through comments in order to read just a small fraction of the total! 🙂

  7. J Cook
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Did you think of banding Honey so next year you would have a better chance of recognizing her. Molts affect the mandibles too.

    • Diane G
      Posted November 27, 2018 at 3:27 am | Permalink

      Where were you when we were wondering about just that, earlier this year? 😉

      Srsly, I spent some time trying to find an answer, only to strike out.

      Well, I’d think the fact that Honey’s bill markings remained so similar over two years might mean her mandibles are less affected than average.

  8. Posted November 25, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    A fond memory of the past vegetation season. So looong time till the next one :-(.

  9. Rupinder Sayal
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Awwww!! What a beautiful capture of the moment!

  10. Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I think *my* mother might sometimes regret she was not successful with *my* preening lessons. 😉


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