A corny love story.

E OR HEADER

Sharing the love at the holidays, or any day, is what life is all about, whether the objection of your intentions is human, furry … or in this case, feathered.

I didn’t get a walk in today because it was rainy – basically, it was weather for ducks.  So, instead of venturing outside, I hunkered down in the house and did the Christmas cards, a chore I usually tackle over Thanksgiving.  I just kept putting it off.  I finished the cards up and had them in a plastic bag waiting in the mailbox for when Jenny, our mail carrier arrived.

When I opened the front door, I remembered Grady, the gray squirrel, might be hanging around, hoping to catch sight of me, (and if not me, a few peanuts anyway).  I looked for Grady, but I did not find him.  In good faith, I put several peanuts on the front porch and scattered more in front of the house.  When I looked outside many hours later to ensure the mail carrier picked up the cards, those peanuts were all gone.  Yay Grady – you’ve got our routine down pat!

So, back to weather for ducks … and the general topic of ducks.  I’ve teased you with the promise of a few tales from last weekend, by mentioning some of the nice people I met in my marathon walking-and-picture-taking sessions at five different parks.   This little tale is about a couple of kindred souls who were feeding the ducks at Elizabeth Park.

I spent about five hours at Lake Erie Metropark on Saturday morning.  When I arrived, the grass was covered in frost and it sure was cold.  Over the course of the morning and early afternoon, the sun came out and melted those crystallized grass blades, and, since I was layered up and the sun was shining, it actually became rather pleasant.

After Lake Erie Metropark, I decided to head over to Elizabeth Park, which is just six miles away.  I drove over the vehicle bridge and was about to head to my usual parking spot, when I spied a group of ducks clamoring around a man and woman.  I quickly found a parking space so I could watch what appeared to be a feathered friend feeding frenzy.  I parked the car and hurried over to watch.  What I saw made my  heart melt.

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The bigger ducks, the white Pekins, and also the Mallard Hybrids, because of their size, had the advantage and were nuzzling the woman’s knees and she was petting them, while her companion was busy tossing out food.  I got closer and told the couple that just watching the scene made me smile, so I asked if they would mind if I took a few pictures?  “No problem – enjoy!” was their smiling answer.   So I settled in, camera in hand, to watch the action.

The woman and I struck up a conversation while the man was busy doling out dried corn to the ducks.  They lunged to get it, and pretty soon there were probably sixty ducks, of all different sizes, heads bent to the grass, enjoying their treat.  They continued to circle the couple, pressed up against their legs, and enjoying the friendly pats on their backs or the top of their heads.  Little quacks of satisfaction were being emitted and their feathery butts were wiggling back and forth, as they tried to squeeze in between their brethren to access either the precious corn wedged between the grass blades on the hill, or perhaps for a soft stroke by a human hand.

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Four buckets of corn having been tossed out and the van door closed up tight, the man joined our conversation.  I sure wish I had gotten their names as we had the nicest visit.  While the ducks were eating up the corn, they told me that they made a daily trip to Elizabeth Park, right at this spot.  The ducks know their van and when they see them pull up, they all run up the grassy hill to meet the couple on the sidewalk.  That made me smile.  They told me as soon as the ducks finish their corn, they will turn around and waddle back to the water’s edge, where they’ll plop into the water, or perhaps sit along the shoreline and preen.

Of course I told them about Parker and his friends and we compared notes of interacting with our feathery and furry friends and the pleasure we each got in doing so.  The man laughed and said that they keep their supply of corn in the back of the van and have thought of building a ramp for the ducks to just go up the ramp so they could access their treats.  The pair and I continued visiting, while one by one, the corn having been eaten, the ducks waddled back down the hill, just as the woman had predicted they would.

We stood talking a little bit longer and the ducks saw their benefactors lingering, so they turned around and started back up the hill again! The woman bent down to talk to them and said “were you late to the party, or are you coming back for seconds?”  They wiggled their bodies in anticipation, much like your dog would do when it saw you, or if you held out a treat in your hands.  It did not matter that they had enjoyed one treat already – they were game for a second helping!  So, I laughingly apologized for making them linger and having to feed those ducks a second time, (although I knew in my heart that it was no hardship for them to do so).  The woman waved her hand in a dismissive motion, saying “oh, why not – let’s give them some more corn” and the man returned to the van and came back with heaping buckets full of corn which he tossed out in every direction.

I am disappointed that my photos were not stellar as I recorded this labor of love … it was late in the day and I never took into consideration the angle of the sun and the shadows, as I usually take my photos much earlier in the day.  But the images are recorded in my mind to play back when I want a smile – I hope your mouth will turn upward as well when you read this post.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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43 Responses to A corny love story.

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………….yes thank you for the very nice story and pictures of other people who enjoy feeding the ducks…………………..I like the white ducks………….you call them “Pekins”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – I think everyone will find it was a feel-good story … those people were so nice and the ducks were so cute. The ducks liked their people and their corn and watching them wriggling around to get close to the woman just touched my heart. Yes, those are Pekin ducks – I like them too, and they’re very beautiful, solid white and they look so soft. The are very big, as are the Mallard Hybrids which look like a regular male mallard (drake) only they also have black/brown and white markings. They are affectionate too, but those Pekin ducks sure are sweet.

      Like

  2. susieshy45 says:

    There are still kind people ( kindred spirits) in the world- in one part of the world it is squirrels, in another part it is with ducks,

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Oh Susie – my photos do not do this story justice. It was so heartwarming and this couple was so friendly and enjoying doling out corn and little pats as much as the ducks enjoyed receiving them. This is an everyday occurrence, but in my opinion is more about the spirit of the season than gifts or anything else … it is gratitude for another being. Glad you enjoyed this post Susie.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda, the slide show is great and the story completely heart warming. We are having lots of rain on top of afoot of snow very soggy. Xo kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Kim – I was so glad I happened to arrive there just then and should have asked if they have a special time every day they go there. We’ve had some ugly weather and it’s either very cold or today it’s very warm (50 degrees which is unusual for us) and foggy this morning. I don’t envy your rain nor your foot of snow and your contractors with wet feet – my sympathies to you and Mr. Cottage. Hope they are finished with the renovation soon and it doesn’t tarnish your holidays.

      Like

  4. Laurie says:

    My mouth certainly did turn upward as I read the post! The flock of ducks in the pictures looks like the one at our local park – the white Pekins, Mallards, and hybrids. Our grandsons love to feed the ducks too. I will have to consider buying some dried corn. We usually feed them stale bread, but corn would be better for them. The oldest one has the patience (and courage) to kneel down and have the ducks eat the treat out of his hand, but the younger one does not. He gets nervous and that makes the ducks nervous.
    I think we are getting your rain here today. Too cold for me to venture outside for a run. Maybe I will take Benji for a walk later if it stops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I thought you would enjoy this post Laurie and I remember you and your grandsons go to the park and feed the ducks. I have fed the ducks stale bread for years and in the Winter I would buy the inexpensive bread and crumble it up for them. Then people started telling me the bread is bad for them and I saw it online. It causes “angel wing” the stories say. But I do give them oyster crackers because it is less dense and the crackers float on the water, thus giving each of the ducks a chance at grabbing one. I get them at the grocery store when they are on sale. There was a gentleman at Heritage Park this past Summer. He goes every morning the same time and feeds the ducks cracked corn. I made up my mind I would go get some, though I am afraid of getting mealy bugs. I bought some Shredded Wheat earlier this year and opened the inside package and some bugs walked out onto the counter top. There is a photographer I follow. He lives in Sweden. He went by a pond this Summer and discovered five or six newly hatched ducklings. He went to the store and got a huge bucket of sunflower seeds and he was feeding them from his hands, until the Mama Duck started intervening and he had to leave them somewhere where the ducklings could find them, as they sank in the water. The man at Heritage Park had a “following” just like this couple … they come swimming over to where he stands or gather around him as soon as he shows up. His picture and him throwing out the cracked corn is in this post: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/07/08/oh-those-lucky-ducks/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        I guess I will have to stop feeding the ducks bread. I can get corn fairly easily and it is cheap with all the dairy farms in the area. Thanks for sending the link!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You’re welcome – I think I can get it at our local pet shop – an advertisement on the side of their building says “everything from hamsters to horses” so I am sure they sell corn or cracked corn too. I have to admit I never knew about the bread being bad until recently and fed them bread, which they gobbled up, for many years.

        Like

  5. Shelley says:

    Lovely story – and I think your photos turned out great – ducks smiling and the action shots are super! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – I just was amazed that I was so caught up in the moment and missed all the shadows that I myself was casting over these sweet ducks. But I took tons of pictures (as usual) so I could salvage enough good pics for the post. I love when ducks smile, especially these Pekin ducks. They seem so affectionate. They were enjoying interacting with the humans as much as the humans enjoyed interacting with them. A win-win all the way around.

      Like

  6. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    I love how they were feeding the ducks dried corn instead of bread. You’re not supposed to feed them bread as it is bad for them. Sounds like a lovely experience and people must feed them all the time if they were willing to get that up close and personal with the couple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, the bread contributes to them getting “angel wing” is what I understand from other bloggers. I fed them bread or oyster crackers until I found out. Sarah – there is a man at Heritage Park where I go to walk and he goes daily and gives them a huge back of cracked corn – they swarm him when he arrives, whether they are in the water or on the shoreline of the man-made pond … they all gather around him before he gets the bag opened up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t know ducks would allow you to pet them but then I don’t think I have ever been that close to a duck! The slideshow was nice, I have never done a slideshow, great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I didn’t know that either Joan – the ones at Council Point Park or Heritage Park are all mallards and smaller and they are not like these ducks – they would be skittish if you tried to pet them. The Pekin and Mallard Hybrids are big, almost the size of a goose. They were affectionate and nuzzling close to the woman’s knees when she was feeding them. Sarah at the Functional Rustic blog site has Muscovery Ducks and she mentions how friendly they are – they can be trained to be pets, and in the house as well. I am glad you liked the slideshow. I only did a slideshow for the first time when I had all the colorful trees earlier in the Fall and experimented a bit then as I had so many pictures. I’ve not really tried any of the features that you can do with the pictures and didn’t know you could make a collage … if I did a collage in the post, I went to Fotor. com and did it there. You can also make your pictures circular as well. I need to poke around on the site some more to see what other ideas are out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. PS. I heard back from the Happiness Engineer re why your comments have ended up in my spam folder 3 times and he said that does happen occasionally and not to worry about it. He said if it starts to happen more frequently then he has a link where you yourself have to report it but I’ll just keep an eye on my Spam folder for now. I check it a few times a week anyway. I asked him if I could approve the comment or if there might be spam attached to it and he said to go ahead and mark it Not Spam if I knew it was from you, which I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That is interesting Joan – was there anything I said that might have been construed as SPAM? I have had a few posts where there is nothing untoward at all – no reason why it should have gone there. Very strange and I am glad you checked with the Happiness Engineers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, it was just a regular reply about Christmas decorating. All the other spam posts I get are things with sentences that don’t make sense or bad English etc. Not to worry about it, as I check my comments section with the spam folder several times a week. I meant to work on a blog tonight but it’s too late and I don’t feel inspired….

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        OK, that’s good Joan – I was actually going to do a second post today, something I don’t usually do, but there was a young couple who had their wedding party at Elizabeth Park after I saw all the ducks. I was going to do a short post about that couple and have a few pictures, but I am way behind in Reader where I’m going now and try to catch up without going to bed at midnight or beyond!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve given up on the Reader until after Christmas…..don’t stay up too late!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My eyes are bleary Joan – I have made it to 11:15 and have to finish tomorrow – I was hoping to get to yours, but I know if I don’t read from bottom to top that I might miss one and I don’t want to do that. Giving up on Reader til after Christmas is a smart idea.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun and kindhearted post Linda! It’s good to know that there are so many good people out there in the world. One wouldn’t always know it from watching the news! We had ducks when I was a kid. My dad built a big pond and then brought home a few mallards. Pretty soon we had way too many. Then one Sunday at lunch, one of our friends appeared on a serving platter. Nobody ate anything and we kids all cried. Ducks are so much fun and very social and curious! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      This little scene with the ducks just warmed my heart Sabine. The ducks were enjoying being around the woman, and she would pet them and they nuzzled her knees. If was not just a feeding frenzy only – they liked the interaction with the woman and the man as well. That’s too bad with your duck friend being on the Sunday lunch menu and my mom told me a similar story from many years ago. Her grandparents owned a farm in rural Guelph, Ontario. They had livestock, among them chickens. Her grandfather was not a very warm man and he watched his grandchildren playing with the chickens and then told them to pick one out for Sunday dinner – at least he didn’t make them watch while he ended its life. I cannot imagine how the kids would have felt, but you would know. That’s not nice to do with kids around. A few bloggers I follow have ducks and they say the same thing – the ducks follow them around and are like pets.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I wish I had a love for the Geese. They do have a trail that is not very becoming. This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you – I am glad you liked it. It was touching to watch this scene. These ducks were pretty tame and they were huge. At my park, we just have the smaller mallards, these Hybrid Mallards and Pekin Ducks are quite big. The Canada geese are often fractious personalities – today I had to walk on the grass as there was black ice on the pathway and they got mad and were all stirred up. They settled down eventually and waddled away. They really get perturbed when they have their goslings in tow.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s sweet to see other (caring) people feeding wild creatures, helping them out! 🙂 Seems like when we are at the parks, feeding the critters, we are the only ones doing it. I think that ducks (and geese) have more intelligence than most birds, though they probably are not as intelligent as crows and ravens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Watching this scene really warmed my heart Tom – the ducks were so affectionate toward this woman and she would pet them and they would move closer … it was not just about the food. Just very touching to watch. I think it is a misnomer to use the phrase “bird brain” … birds are very intelligent. The ducks see the van and go running up the hill to meet these people!

      Like

  12. So many ducks! I love the photos. I went duck feeding this week too. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I knew you would like these Heather and now I have to get that other post ready with the ducks on the ice … they were huddled together and trying to walk on icy Coan Lake. Was your pond covered in ice or have you not been that cold yet in the UK? It was only 18 degrees (-7 C for you) and the smaller bodies of water were frozen or at least partially frozen. Glad you got out to see some ducks too – their sweet antics made me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is here too. The last few days have been very cold! I’ve been huddled up next the radiator most of the weekend! Can’t wait to see your next post. 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        We have a foggy morning again Heather – not as bad as yesterday and freezing fog in the northern suburbs. I am behind in everything, including Reader, due to internet problems … this weather I imagine is not beneficial to you with all the dampness. So stay close to that radiator and stay toasty … sip a hot chocolate and steal some of Dizzy’s ginger biscuits to dunk in it! {{{{ }}}}

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Mackenzie says:

    What a bunch of quacks 😉 I couldn’t help myself, tehe. But this is precious- and I think your photography is still stellar! Loved reading this story- thanks for sharing, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is fair to say they quacked you up then? It was so sweet seeing them interacting with this couple. I felt badly I lost some pics due to my own shadow! I hope to have the recipes today … I have had a frustrating morning … I loaded the pics of some recipes to Shutterfly last weekend and Shutterfly is down – no doubt because everyone is loading their pics on there and creating gifts … they have been down all morning, so I had a copy of the pics I took off the camera’s memory card and tried to send those pics to myself … reached photo limit (at just three pics for each e-mail), so just did it one by one and my Comcast rebelled and then the internet went down. Comcast … I have no words sometimes. I had the recipes for you and one for AJ … I mentioned Scottish shortbread my mom made and she said her grandma made something similar so I said – I’m using recipes for my post and a couple for Mackenzie … so not able to access them was frustrating! We are having this foggy weather again today – I hope you have some nice weather for your Christmastime visit Mackenzie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mackenzie says:

        LOL! Yesss, definitely!

        ohhh Comcast. We understand that pain that can be too!

        Is everything back up and working now okay?! That is so sweet you were trying to whip out those recipes for us!

        Thank you so much, you too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Oh Comcast just makes me say grrrrrrr most of the time Mackenzie. I am going to do them today. I had so many internet issues yesterday and I was getting behind in Reader … three days and didn’t want to sink into a Reader and commenting abyss so I skipped a post for yesterday and hunkered down here to catch up. In the meantime I will do your recipes today and I saw AJ made shortbread and posted a pic over the weekend … my mom’s recipe was quite rich and buttery and I know AJ follows GF recipes … but she may be making these for family as well. I even found an Ohio Buckeye recipe (peanut butter and chocolate) to show you! You may need that as you finish off school – whew!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mackenzie says:

        hehe- the commenting abyss- oh what an appropriate way to describe it!! I always felt that way after coming home from three days straight working in the hospital- it was like- where to even begin?! It was always the thing I looked forward to most after all those shifts though 🙂

        That’s so awesome AJ made the recipe! I am going to jump over to her blog and check it out. She is a great baker too!

        Oooo yesss I would love to try my hand at buckeyes one of these days!! mmmmm!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, my boss is leaving for Mexico early Thursday morning – the last year, every time he has been on vacation (many times) there has been some emergency or big matter going on. We have a case on appeal with the NLRB … we filed the Brief on 08/24 … my fingers are crossed that the decision does not come in in the next few days. I would like to catch up on everything – I have to tell you that if I catch up in WordPress, I get behind with e-mail, Facebook and even Twitter. I just follow news mostly on Facebook and turned off friends’ posts so I just go to their Walls to catch up. I am behind with Evelyn the person I e-mail with the most … and now she’ll have more time on her hands. Yikes – I love the comments too and I have been apologizing to people for falling so far behind as I usually was always commenting the same day … I love the interaction too and have been tying people together by sharing common-interest blogs … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mackenzie says:

        oh wow I hope everything is okay!!

        I am the queen of playing catch up- so I totally understand. Just know there is no pressure 🙂 Everyone in the blogging world gets it! Life can get crazy sometimes. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s good – I had kept up pretty well up til now. My boss is gone and left nothing for me to do – I am ecstatic … I so need some free time! I just will monitor his e-mail and voicemail but I will be here anyway … I’ll try to write a few blogs to go with all the photos I took 10 days ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mackenzie says:

        Sounds like a great plan!!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh Linda, it sounds like these kindred spirits made your day. What a kind pair of souls that are equivalent to your acts of kindness to your squirrels. I love it and it certainly made me smile. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They did indeed make my day Zena … I am glad it made your day as well. How wonderful it was to see them and those big ducks, some which their heads came up to couple’s knees, and all clustered around and her petting them. It did make me smile – it was a wonderful scene.

      Like

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