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Posts Tagged ‘mallard duck’

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside…….

The snow has melted and left us with these feelings of expectation. Each day we look for the signs. We scrutinise the grass for sprouts of green and dig around the shrubs just in case new life might be hiding there. The temperatures are deceptive. We are teased with blasts from the polar vortex followed by the odd warm spring day. But we don’t mind as the warm days are such a reprieve. We have bravely packed away all the heavy coats right to the back of the closet. It is a point of no return!

Nature reminds us that new life is on its way. We spotted the sleek mink at the bottom of our garden. It dived excitedly into the clear river and inspected the bounty of food. Tiny minnows darted for cover. The graceful creature swam with purpose and was soon sunning himself on the rocks, content and delighted with his discovery. Not sure where Mrs Mink was hiding out as she was missing out on all the fun. Through the winter we would often see the tell-tale signs of tracks up from the river into our back garden. One of those was the Eastern Cottontail rabbit. It has been around throughout the winter and provided much amusement in an otherwise seemingly lifeless vista. According to Germanic myth Eostre, the goddess of spring, created a rabbit by transforming a bird. Ever since this unusual conception, all rabbits and hares have laid eggs during the week of Easter to thank Eostre and to celebrate their ancestry.

Our cheeky Easter bunny

Our cheeky Easter bunny

Our graceful mink

Our graceful mink

See I’ve forgotten if they’re green or blue….

Our regular pair of Mallard ducks are back and have been setting up a nest for the new arrivals. The handsome male with his luminescent green head is a sight to behold! His head catches the filtered light through the leafless trees. He waddles up and down gathering twigs unaware of the human appreciation. Every now and again he looks up as if to keep an eye out for Red Tailed Hawk. He is splendid with his large frame of about 60 centimeters. This king of the food chain reigns in our back yard and sends many shudders down the backs of our array of ‘kleinwild.’ The vocal and fearless Red Squirrel stamps his feet and flicks his tail. The hawk does not flinch as he knowingly takes in this tiny pile of cheek…..all of 250 grams of body weight. He gets away with it as the hawk realises that this little creature is but a mere aperitif!

The Mallard couple

The Mallard couple

A scrap of cheek....

A scrap of cheek….

King of all he surveys....

King of all he surveys….

And you can tell everybody this is your song
it may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you’re in the world.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

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Enough already! I thought I had passed the ‘Winter Test’ this year! We have endured the blasts from the Arctic Vortex, had metres of snow thrown on us and braved the sub zero temperatures!  We had just begun to thaw and had enjoyed a few days out in the garden and have even sipped our first of the season sundowners on the deck. The hesitant sun had begun to warm our frosted lily- white winter limbs. Our mood had lifted and there was a spring in the step. But it was not to last…….

The morning scene.....

The morning scene…..

We woke up this morning and the world outside was all carpeted in snow! Oh no! It was hard to assimilate that we had regressed back into winter over night.

So out came the liquid sunshine, the ‘must have’ vitamin D tablets, at breakfast. I had pushed that right to the back of the tray as I felt they would not be needed for a few months. How wrong I was! Warming Jungle Oats would be at the top of the menu once more rounded off with a cup of hot chocolate. There would be no walk for our canine member of the family either. I just could not get myself out of that door to duel with the wind. Josh had that ‘gatvol’ expression on his face as he went out for his morning ablutions on his snowy patch. He had reveled in the sun over the weekend as he rolled in the grass and luxuriated on his back in the sun. Now all he could do was jump straight back into his warm basket and sulk.

I fumbled in the dark coat cupboard for my tried and tested and ‘very sick of wearing’ blue padded jacket. When I first arrived in Canada I could never understand the reasoning behind having so many coats. I used to listen to locals discuss their ski coats, walking jackets, evening coats, weekend coats and spring coats. What on earth was a spring coat? Initially I decided that this was surely extravagant and I could manage with far less. I muddled on for the first winter and even the second as they were both mild. But then the ‘big guns’ hit us…….this last winter! It did not take me long to realize that my sensible repertoire of 2 coats in the mudroom cupboard was just not enough. I would feel an attack of SADS coming on when I reached into the cupboard and selected one from my meager choice! Then the warm boots were reluctantly pulled on too. Oh for a pair of peep toe sandals!

I long to give my summer sandals an airing!

I long to give my summer sandals an airing!

So as the sun breaks through those clouds and the snow begins to melt yet again, the prospect of spring becomes a reality once more. We can look forward to new growth and new life! But in the meantime a couple of mallard ducks have set up home down at the river at the bottom of our garden. There has been much courtship and spring shenanigans going on.  It looks like there is soon to be a batch of baby chicks. What a lovely way to celebrate Easter!

Our mallard ducks make whoopee in our stream.

Our mallard ducks make whoopee in our stream.

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