Friday, January 24, 2014

After I wrote my entry yesterday I saved  it so I could insert a few pics but then I couldn't figure out how to retrieve it. I accidentally found it this morning so I published it anyway. I will try to go back and put in the pics today

Hester and Arthur came over several times yesterday but she only flew up 1 other time. The atearest of the day she maintained in her seclusive area.  It had been part of our routine that she would spend a good part of the day just hanging around on the land after she ate. She liked to go to the point where the bulkheads meet and squat down and nap. When she would wake up she would spend sometimes an hour or more stretching her legs and preening.

This is another behavior that she has changed lately too. Now she will briskly waddle over to the edge, jump in and quickly swim to her spot.

I have been awake since about 3:30 this morning. The sleet hitting the metal roof woke me up. I went outside just as daylight broke and within 5 min about 30 ducks flew out of nowhere and landed on the lake in front of me. I could tell pretty quickly which ones were Hester and Arthur because they immediately started to chase the other ducks away. They managed to thin it out to only a Daryl remaining. Not bad - 2 against 30. Lol  I did not want Hester to fly up on the land since there is about 1/2 inch of ice on the ground. I feed them 3 pieces of 100% whole wheat bread and saved some crumbles for the small birds that come over.

It is soo  cold this morning. Everything is frozen. It's not like a solid sheet of ice, its a solid covering of sleet. It says the temp is 26 degrees with the real feel temp of 19. I know that while I was feeding the ducks it felt like my fingers would easily develops frost bite. I don't know how people up North can live like this for several months out of the year. Being grateful I live where I do!

There was an amazing sunset night before last. I was standing at the kitchen sink and something caught my eye. There is a small window in front of the sink that looks out on the lake. I glanced up and it seemed that there was a reddish pink film over the window  - very surreal. I couldn't figure it out so I went outside. the sky was so spectacular!

It's taken me all this time to figure out how to blog from my phone! Now that I have I hope I don't forget! Lol. Now for what you have long been waiting for - news about Hester and Arthur. I wish I didn't have any but Hesters behavior has changed. She doesn't want to fly up on the land. She still comes over and acts like she wants to but Arthur gets impatient and flies up first. I may be just attributing human feelings into these ducks behaviors but 9 times out of 10 it seems she gets pissed off and swims away when he does this. Or when they both are up on the land if I am also giving him a few pieces of 100% whole wheat bread it seems she doesn't like this either and will jump back in the water and swim away. The last several days they will come over and she will sometimes attempt to fly up but doesn't quite make it. Her feet just doesn't land all the way on the bulkhead and she falls back into the water. I know this is a little early for her to nest but she seems to be at least picking out a spot.  This is where she spends most of her time now.
I thought at first she might be getting too fat but since she has picked out this spot and goes to that exact spot over and over I think it has more to do with nesting.
There are some lone stray male ducks that have not the honor of being attached to a female. I have named them Daryl. I usually see them in a group of 3 so I named them Daryl, Daryl and his other brother Daryl. Hahaha. This way I always have their name right. Sometimes there is a single Daryl or sometimes 2.

This morning Hester and Arthur came over and to my joy Hester flew up. Arthur followed soon after. I did not give Arthur any and he got distracted by a Daryl and another pair of ducks swimming alittle to close for his comfort. He jumped back in the lake and chased the Daryl around. Hester in the meantime continued eating and jumped in the lake at her leisure. She began swimming in the direction of her special spot while Arthur continued his sport with Daryl. He didn't see Hester take off and before you know it she was almost to her spot while Arthur was out of view.  He began frantically calling for her and looking up to see where she was. Finally she began her quacking in answer to his. She must have a spot in the tall reeds where she can hide because that is what she did. By the time Arthur got there he couldn't find her! He began swimming back over here since it was the last place he did see her. He must have been frantic because half way across he took off flying and made it back. Still no Hester! She did not make a sound.  He swam back to their spot and she mysterically was there now.  They had been doing a lot of mating in the last week or so. They certainly are not shy about it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Its like this - they both do a lot of head bobbing and at some point the female gets very low in the water. The male tries to get behind her and mount her. He seems to hold her down by putting his beak on the back of her neck and pushing down. This seems to look like he is trying to drown her but it is only trying to keep her in place. Sometimes it works out but most often it doesn't. If she is down too long she finds a way of pushing him off or sometimes he doesn't get a firm hold and he just falls off. When this happens they both sort of rise up and flap their wings  and then go about their businesses. If he does complete the act she will do this but he will slimline his body and dart around her several times. At this time of year I don't know if they are practicing for the spring or if they are doing it for fun. Either way Hester and Arthur have been doing it a lot lately.

Monday, January 13, 2014

day 1

wow - can't believe i created a blog! I will try to include a daily update on Hester and Arthur - the male and female wild mallard ducks that have adopted me. Also, hopefully,it will help me keep a daily log of my effort to lose weight. I will try to post new pics of interesting things happening here.

Hester and Arthur -