Friday, May 16, 2008

Ed and Zelda Stop By For a Visit

Ed and Zelda live at the nursery where I work. There's a creek that runs through the middle and down the north side of the property, and Pop (of Mom & Pop, the owners of the nursery) being a serious bird enthusiast, has a number of bird feeders and a bird bath on the south side of the nursery along a driveway. So Ed and Zelda hang out a lot by the feeders, and enjoy refreshing swims in the creek. After their babies are mobile, they trot them out and show them off to us like the proud parents they are. Ed and Zelda aren't very afraid of us humans, since they're so used to us being around. We can get really close to them and the kids.

We have a drainage swale way in the back of our yard. After a heavy rain, the swale becomes a temporary stream. Now, with the weeping willow tree gone, the swale stays wet longer after a heavy rain than it used to.

Ed and Zelda have always enjoyed stopping by for a visit and a refreshing swim whenever there's water in the swale. I imagine they'll be stopping by even more frequently now that the willow is gone. Of course, once the kids are hatched, they stay closer to home for a few weeks.

Wednesday when I came home for lunch, I found them in our back yard enjoying an early afternoon swim. They'd taken off from the nursery late in the morning, and I was thinking they just might be here when I got home. Since our house is only a little over a mile (as the duck flies,) from the nursery, it only takes them a couple of minutes to fly over here. They were here to greet me when I came home. I don't mind them stopping by when I'm not home - they're like family after all.

A half-hour later when it was time to go back to work, they took off in the direction of the nursery. I wasn't surprised when I got back to work minutes later, to find them hanging out by the bird feeders. I guess they still believe that old wives' tale that you shouldn't swim after a meal or you might get a cramp and drown. So they came by for a swim at my place first, had some of their favorite appetizers fresh from the swale, then flew back over to the nursery for the rest of their lunch. I don't blame them for believing that old wives tale. They really are bird brains though.
It's ok if they're bird brains. We love them just the way they are.

13 comments:

  1. What fun to have such a beautiful pair of mallards visiting. My grandparents used to have some mallards who came back to their yard every year and spent a lot of time in the garden. We loved to watch them.

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  2. How beautiful, and a very entertaining post to go with the photo. :) Ed and Zelda look entirely content.

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  3. You are so lucky to have this bit of beauty in your life at work and at home. When we first moved here we had a pair of mallards that spent the spring in our swimming pool but my husband was worried about their droppings and our young children at the time and chased them off.

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  4. Such pretty, elegant friends to have. Enjoyed the tale.
    Brenda

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  5. That is funny. We have wild ducks and geese, turkeys etc that drop in for a quick meal here. Although I put out bird seeds and scratch for them so they don't have to work to hard for a free meal...There is plenty of water here for them to drink too.

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  6. We had a flock of wild turkey run through here once. It was crazy. Mallards are wonderful creatures. We had a fun time feeding the ducks at our realtor's cabin a couple of years ago. I wish we were closer to the water. Oh well, I guess you can't have it all at this young of age....

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  7. Ed and Zelda are quite an attractive pair. How nice that they stop in for a visit with you every once in awhile.

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  8. I felt like I knew them already!

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  9. Do you ever get the feeling you're being followed? Maybe it's that trail of breadcrumbs you've been leaving. ;^D

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  10. Amy, aren't they beautiful? They're so much fun to watch, especially Ed and Zelda since they're not very scared. They let me get very close. They even let George get close, but I have to hold onto him because he wants to chase them.

    Nancy, glad you enjoyed it! They do seem happy together don't they?

    Melanie, I had mallards in the pool all the time a couple of houses ago. I can understand your husband's concern about the droppings. We had so many bird droppings next to and in the pool, whatever the ducks did was insignificant!

    Brenda, they are cool friends. It's really neat the way they trott out the babies. I think Ed holds his head up a little higher when he's showing off the kids.

    Cindee, I think it's great that you've got such a bird-friendly yard.

    Cinj, my mom has wild turkeys on her property. They're fun to watch too, but not nearly as friendly as Ed and Zelda.

    Rose, I feel honored that they stop by so often! Even though they've been around for a few years, it's always an honor when they stop by.

    Tina, to know them is to love them!

    MMD, the ducks can follow me anytime. They're always welcome The coyote, not so much!

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  11. You know, I always loved ducks, but since they started showing up int he 20s at my feeder, they kind of scare me as a group. I don't know why. Ed and Zelda look like perfectly pleasant guests!
    ~ Monica

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  12. I got to stop my car this week to allow two Canadian geese and their five goslings walk across the street. So sweet.
    Love nature.

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  13. Monica, Wow - that's a lotta ducks! We see geese in big flocks all over the suburbs now as their habitats have shrunk. They especially hang out in forest preserves and parks wherever there's any water. Walking at the local forest preserve trail has become artful dodging of goose poop on the trail. Goose poop is big like dog doo, and very gross! The geese can sometimes get pretty aggressive. They've never chased me, but I've seen them chase after other people sometimes.

    Kim and Victoria, aw, that's so sweet! The nursery where I work is on a busy street. The creek that runs through the nursery continues across the street, and it's not unusual for one of us working at the nursery to act as crossing guards for Ed, Zelda, and the kids, as well as the geese that occasionally waddle their babies back and forth across the street.

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