Pure adoration.

Whether the above Mallards are mates, best buds, or just pals sharing a quiet moment, I chose the pair for my annual Sweetest Day post.

I took these two photos during my September 5th meander at Lake Erie Metropark. Both Mallards had brown-speckled plumage and were likely in “eclipse phase” which means after molting, both male and female Mallards look alike. Gradually, the males, a/k/a drakes, will see the return of their teal head feathers, white neck rings, brown chest and gray body, while the females, a/k/a hens, will retain that brown plumage with its eventual signature bright-blue wing stripe.

I know Sweetest Day is not a holiday celebrated nationwide, or globally, but it is celebrated here in the Midwest, so don’t panic if you’re reading this and realize you didn’t get a present for your main squeeze. Sweetest Day is just another Hallmark-type holiday, a more condensed version of Valentine’s Day, but it has been celebrated for the past 99 years.

I’ve not heard one radio ad for candy, flowers or cards, so sadly, I guess Sweetest Day is still another casualty of the pandemic as real-life events like wildfires, presidential debates, positive tests and alarming COVID-19 stats rule the news media stories, crowding this fun holiday out of the headlines.

I usually use a Parker photo with his big brown eyes, swishing tail and hearts swirling about his head for Sweetest Day, but these two ducks have my heart.

They’re feelin’ ducky – how ’bout you?

About Linda Schaub

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, so 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 four 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, though 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. - Linda Schaub
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47 Responses to Pure adoration.

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing 2 new pieces of information. Had no idea about Sweetest Day (and it’s been celebrated for almost 100 years?!) And eclipse phase for the duck molting process. You articulate well the specific terms for describing the ducks. Always fun to learn something new in your posts!
    I’m going to bed now…happy Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Esther – now my head has swelled … how will I get out the door? Speaking of birds, aren’t you the night owl! Yes, a three-hour time difference, but still. Glad you are not one of the thousands with power shut off due to the wildfires. Happy Saturday back at ya!

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      • Hahahah, you are so funny! I meant it. The other day I said “contrail” when Ellis asked me about the white trail from a plane. I felt pretty snazzy.
        I’ve always been a night owl; trying to change to be a morning person is harder than you think. But I wonder if I need to change it. Constant back and forth. Now I’ll have to stay up to wondering about this. 😉😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s funny – was Ellis impressed? I don’t know how I heard it called “contrails” but I thought “I never knew it had a fancy name – plane exhaust is how I would describe it.” I am trying to shut down at 9:30 now to avoid sitting 12 hours at the computer every day.

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  2. I never heard of Sweetest Day, unless you wrote about it last year. I’m that case, please forgive my memory lapse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Sweetest Day, Linda! (I have never heard of it before…) I can see why you picked these ducks to celebrate with…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Barbara! It really is just a regional holiday for the Midwest and like Valentine’s Day, only on a smaller scale. Next year it will be 100 years since it was first declared a fun holiday, so maybe more will be made of it. These two ducks were gazing at each other with such intensity that I decided to us their photos for Sweetest Day. I don’t think they noticed me there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Never heard of sweetest day and I’ve been around for some of the 99 years! Love the ducks. Several years ago we had a mating pair in our tiny pond. They were like kids so in love. It was wonderful to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is just a regional holiday, but I still never heard a thing about it today – people are not in frivolous, fun moods this year I guess. I’ve been around a lot of those 99 years too! I see a lot of ducks with their mates at Heritage Park. They never stray too far from each other, waddling along together on the path. It is wonderful to watch them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AJ says:

    I’ve never heard of the sweetest day- what is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is kind of like a scaled-down Valentine’s Day and really only in the Midwestern part of the U.S., which includes Michigan. It has been around 99 years and is considered a “Hallmark holiday” ad both they and other card companies have a ton of cards available to buy. I did not hear one commercial this year for flowers, candy, dinner … it’s a good barometer for how Valentine’s Day likely will be.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni says:

    In that first picture they looked all puffed up with pride and love, and the leaves on the water in the background add just the right scenic touch, kind of like a wedding photo! I popped into the Hallmark store here yesterday at the mall when I was returning something and picked up my free Hallmark 2021 purse calender, just a reminder if you are interested Linda, as they usually go quick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I wasn’t going to do a Sweetest Day post this year, since I am so behind here and feel badly doing more posts without catching up in Reader, but these two ducks just looked at one another so dreamily that I decided to use it. I thought the background was pretty too – lots of leaves drifting down onto the water and this was on September 5th with all those leaves! Thank you for the reminder Joni – for years I used to pop into Hallmark for the plastic wallet-sized year at a glance calendar and their purse calendar then our Hallmark store closed down a few years ago.
      We bought all our cards there for decades.
      There are no other Hallmark stores around –
      they are all independently owned and either their mall landlords forced them out with high rent (like our Hallmark) or they lost their lease and went out of business. I used to go with my mom every July to their Christmas in July event – miss those days. We would go get our miniature ornaments, after perusing the Holiday Preview ornament book a few weeks before. They would have Christmas music, cookies, punch, Santa and Mrs. Claus … all fun things from the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Linda, they had all their Christmas stuff out, and music playing, but I had so many other errands to run that I didn’t linger. I do like their purse calendars for writing down appointments as I don’t use the cell phone for that. I’m catching up on Reader tonight, but have no posts ahead, so this week will just be a Wordless Wednesday I guess. I’ve been busy with the art world as mom’s show is opening soon and I can’t seem to get the writing time to draft something out, although I have plenty of topics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I scrolled through last night just before I shut off the computer … I have been better about getting more sleep now that our COVID cases are soaring, so have been better about getting 7+ hours sleep. Do they have the Christmas in July event at your Hallmark? It was the big Ornament Preview weekend. I really liked the people who owned the Hallmark store. They had owned it for decades and were always chatty when we went in. They decided to retire and one of the employees who had managed the store for them when they started slowing down, decided to buy it. I understand that the strip mall landlord changed hands and raised the rent to an exorbitant rate so they shut down for good. I’ve not got any more posts done, but have taken lots of photos the last month … I need to catch up in Reader tomorrow … or at least try to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I so seldom go to the mall, even when there isn’t a pandemic, that I don’t know if they have a Christmas in July or not. I only went to return a pair of PJ’s I’d ordered online to the Northern Reflections store. Less work than mailing it back and waiting for Canada Post to deliver it to get the refund. They were such cheap material and poor quality that they weren’t even worth the $30 sale price. I hate ordering clothes online. I truly don’t know how the Hallmark store continues to survive as mall rents are high and many people buy their cards at the dollar store for much less.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I had to the mall in eight years when I went again to Macy’s in 2017 … I felt like it had been more than eight years as there were stores that were gone, new stores (for younger folks) that had taken their place, and lots of pop-up places for food, coffee, etc. It was a real eye-opener. I was not beating a path there afterward either. They did have a Hallmark store there but it was very small and on two levels and hard to get around in there and at that time our Hallmark was still open. I think people don’t send traditional cards anymore so it surprises me that Hallmark stays in business, and American Greetings cards in the grocery store. The price is sky high for paper cards. I think lots of people send greetings on Facebook with stickers and messages or via e-mail or e-cards like Jacquie Lawson or other e-card sites. We have “Forever” stamps here – you likely do too, so I don’t even know the price for a letter or card anymore. Your postage is very expensive so buying an expensive card to boot – no wonder people get dollar store cards. Did you ever see the Vermont Country Store catalog Joni? It has some very interesting items that were popular years ago and now obsolete from regular store shelves. And they specialize in old-fashioned, homespun items … so my mom wanted flannel PJs that were not the traditional shirt jacket type as she liked looser tops. We looked everywhere … got the catalog and ordered two which appeared to be just like the ones she had for years. They were so pitifully thin, claimed to be flannel, but not heavy nor soft, and oversized on top of it. The shipping for returns was pricey, so we kept them for me but they were way too big for me, except for length. It was a big waste of money and even washing in hot water did not help!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I was glad I took the PJ’s back, as I read the reviews online today and they were not good – one lady washes them and the dye all faded and they shrunk! Certainly not the same quality as the last time I ordered them a few years ago. I’ve never heard of the Vermont Country Store catalog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I don’t blame you Joni. My mom ordered those wo pair of the PJs and I figured I’d just wear them to save sending them back – big mistake and we regretted keeping them. And we figured the flannel would soften after being washed – it did not! The catalog is full of homespun items and I think we were on the mailing list as we ordered a country woven tablecloth or a rocker pad set for the rocker. Not sure. They have some items that were popular in the past:
        https://www.vermontcountrystore.com/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Linda…it’s a nice site, but a bit pricey esp with the exchange rate and shipping. I’m a sucker for nightwear as I practically live in my PJ’s and robe come winter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Oh I think they are ridiculously priced too Joni. We did the PJs for my mom as she really didn’t like the tailored PJs as they didn’t fit her right and so preferred the flowy styles instead. We scoured every store looking for them and she wore her other PJs til they were almost falling apart. She was very petite, so it would require buying a bigger size on top, a much-smaller size for the pants – we decided this would be the solution. Their catalog is interesting to look at but I’d never buy anything from them again.

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  7. ruthsoaper says:

    Happy Sweetest Day Linda. We usually don’t do much to celebrate it but when I asked my husband what he wanted for a Sweetest Day dinner he offered to buy pizza. That works for me. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ruth – same to you. Great – you got a chance to step away from the stove and that is a good thing. It’s the end of the day and I heard not one ad for Sweetest Day this year.

      Like

  8. I’ve never heard of Sweetest Day! These ducks certainly make for a sweet photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is mostly a regional holiday Sabine … the Midwest celebrates it, but I still have not heard a single ad for candy, flowers, dinner for your sweetie … they usually have advertised a week before. It’s been around for 99 years. These two ducks caught my eye and my heart the way they were gazing at one another – very sweet. 🙂

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  9. Aww, they’re cute. … Ya know, I saw that holiday notes on my calendar, but I had no idea what it was for, and I didn’t take the time to look it up. And now, I’m a few days late. However, I’ve spent the whole day today with my love wandering through the North Ga Mountains; so, maybe I’m covered. 😂 Maybe I’ll write him a card now just to “deal the deal;” since, the week’s not up quite yet. Thanks for the reminder, and I do hope you had the sweetest Sweetest Day! 💕 (Make sure your eat a chocolate or two!😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’m glad you had it covered Mia. 🙂 The weather here was gorgeous and the leaves here in Michigan are at peak color, so I hope tonight’s overnight wind gusts don’t leave the trees bare already. It is mostly a regional holiday for the Midwest, but I never heard anything advertised to buy candy, roses, cards or have dinner with your sweetie … that’s a shame, as it is like a scaled-down version of Valentine’s Day. I forgot to get chocolate – I’d better fix that and owe myself a few chocolates to make up for it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’ll be hoping with you. I hate it when those winds come in and tear away the beautiful fall colors too early! Our colors are not so vibrant here this year. We drove up into the mountains today, and while it was pretty, the colors are more muted than in some years. But that is what it is, I suppose. The temps were perfect today, at a brisk 57, along with the bright and sunny blue skies. We definitely enjoyed getting out in it. … And, Yes! Get that chocolate and enjoy!! Because you’re a few days beyond the holiday, just add a little extra chocolates and count it as sweetest interest! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I agree – I have to go to the store for peanuts – the only thing I didn’t get, but I’m not out of them, just want to bulk up for Winter months. We did lose a lot of those pretty leaves … hated that and we ended up getting rain today. With Winter on the way, you have to make the most out of every single day, especially with cold, snow and ice on the horizon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a shame about the leaves. Hopefully, you were able to get a few more pics before all was lost. … yes, you guys get much of the snow and ice that can shut things down for awhile. I’m hoping we get just a bit of snow this year, but you never can tell in Georgia. 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We had a rainy day yesterday and today which was too bad. I hope I don’t see wet leaves plastered to the sidewalks on tomorrow’s walk. I’d love a Winter like last year again, as I never drove in snow the entire season, but that is too much to hope for – in my dreams maybe. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, you know how the song goes, “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…” ❄️⛄️😉💕

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    How about that? I never heard of Sweetest Day before. It must not have made its way to PA. Those ducks actually look like they might be a couple. One’s chest has browner feathers than the other, which makes me think one is a male and the other a female. Maybe now they are just “dating” and next spring they will have aa brood of their own! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, more regional especially to Michigan. I think the one on the left is a female as it has that blue swing stripe and the other has the beginnings of a brown chest. They are shy for now – the second photo made me smile too, like blushing. I was lucky to find lots of ducklings this year after lamenting about never seeing them.

      Like

  11. Prior... says:

    Hi Linda – nice to find the. Idea in this in between phase
    And I think I only celebrated sweetest day twice in my life – and one of the. Is a Emory from 85!
    And you are right – it feels like a Hallmark holiday but also nice in a way – I think small holidays that are there for the taking make life enriched 🌸😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Happy Sweetest Day to you for Saturday Miss Linda………………….you chose a good pair of loving ducks and I like the background with the leaves on the water……………………………..I didn’t know what the stage of molting: “eclipse molting” is called in ducks……..thanks I’ll be on the look out at our duck pond…………………………..Yes I’m feeling “ducky”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ann Marie and I am glad you liked the two ducks which I am guessing were a pair. I like the way they looked at one another. I learned about the “eclipse moulting” phase when I took that first interpretive cruise at Lake Erie Metropark. We went past a big group of Mallards in the water and they all were the same color and our guide explained it to us. Yes, do watch out and see them when they look alike. Glad you’re feeling ducky … you had not been visiting here all week and I was starting to worry, so was going to reach out to you tomorrow.

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  13. Sandra J says:

    Yes, I learned something new also, everyday should be sweetest day. We see it in wild life around us. The animals that mate for life. People should take note of that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it’s very true. Animals and birds are loyal to their mates and some, like geese, grieve for their mates and live solo the rest of their lives, if their mate dies. They are fiercely protective of their families too – people laugh about the geese hissing and flapping their wings, but even with their mate sitting on the nest, they fear for their safety as you know. I also think people should take note of that.

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  14. Happy Sweetest Day! I’m another one who has never heard of it. But, if it involves chocolate, I’m all in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I think the other states should get going on making it a Hallmark-type holiday all over the States, though I never did hear a single thing on the radio about the holiday, nor buying treats and sweets for your significant other. Yes, chocolate is usually involved Janis!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You are so right, Sweetest Day is definitely a Hallmark day or young love!

    Liked by 1 person

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