A farewell to Anna the Human

Anna Mueller’s namesake, the hen Anna Mallard, is still with us, along with her eight healthy ducklings, but Human Anna is leaving tomorrow to take a job at Indiana University in Bloomington. I doubt that she’ll return for the rest of the summer, and so the ducks she tended will grow, and then depart, and she won’t see that. But I will keep her updated with doings at Botany Pond.

Anna was glad that we named the new mallard hen after her, and expressed her happiness on Twitter, as you see below. (Note that Twitter considers some of my duck pictures to be “sensitive content”, which is part of the site’s algorithmic stupidity. I think it comes from my having tweeted Jesus and Mo cartoons!)

So Anna came over to Botany Pond last Saturday, graduation day at the U of C, so we could give the ducks and ducklings their last supper from the two of us. She also brought organic strawberries and blueberries as a special treat for the waterfowl.

The ducks turned up their bills at the strawberries, but did go after the blueberries, though they had a hard time processing them. I think the fruits were too hard to squash with their bills. Here we see one of Katie’s teenaged ducklings going after a blueberry, trying to squash it, dropping it, dabbling it back up, and finally losing it in the pond (or so it seems to me):

Anna feeding the eight-duckling brood of her namesake:

It made both her and the ducks happy:

She didn’t neglect Katie’s brood, either. Here she feeds what she called the “Angry Teenagers”, because they got pissed off when we ran out of food at mealtime. You can see the expensive but uneaten strawberries on the bank.

And Anna took the obligatory selfies with me, Anna’s brood and Katie’s brood. I was unshaven and haggard after a long weekend of work, but I’ll be spiffy when I travel the day after writing this. Katie et al. are in the background:

Some graduates posing by Botany Pond (a favorite post-graduation picture spot), and there are some tiny ducklings among the water lilies that are invisible.

So farewell to Dr. Mueller, and best of luck in her new job! She was a superb duck farmer, and we will miss her. I only hope that she finds some new ducks to tend Bloomington.

Duck reports will be fewer in the next three weeks as I’ll be in Hawaii, but our two Duck Farmers promise to provide me with regular reports, and I’ll pass those on to you.


  1. DrBrydon
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Well, to be fair, duck is 75% of another bad word. Seventy-five percent is good for censorship, right?

    Good luck, Anna!!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Well done – best wishes

  3. Glenda Palmer
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I have enjoyed your contribution to WEIT through your care for the delightful duck families. Want to wish you the best with the new positional at Indiana University.

    Do they have a duck pond?

  4. Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Bloomington, IN is not too far from Chicago – I did the trip twice a few years back, so maybe …

  5. Karen Fierman
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Fare WELL, Anna! It’s been ducky enjoying your cyber-presence. You shall be MISSED! Much luck in your new life chapter. Come back some day to Pond Zero!

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Au revoir, Anna. You helped three broods of ducklings survive and thrive through such a critical period of their lives.

    You will be missed. Best wishes to you in your further endeavors!

  7. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Good luck & safe journey to our duck wrangler, Anna “kind person” Mueller!

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Looks like some happy duck wranglers.

  9. Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    “Sensitive content?” Were they raised as Atheists?

  10. BJ
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    ” I doubt that she’ll return for the rest of the summer, and so the ducks she tended will grow, and then depart, and she won’t see that.”

    Oh, she’ll see it, considering your ample DUCKumentary (I’m sorry. I’m so sorry) skills.

    Best of luck in your new job, Anna! I’m sure the duckies will miss you.

  11. rickflick
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Yes Anna. I think you definitely can use your extensive duck feeding experience on your CV.


  12. Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Wishing you all the best on your new adventure, Dr. Mueller!
    Thanks for helping with the ducks and ducklings, which brought much pleasure and joy to our lives.

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