Back in the days when I worked on site, it was imperative I had my “ducks in a row” every morning. I took the bus to downtown Detroit for years and even though the bus may not have always arrived on time, I had to be at the bus stop waiting for it like it WOULD show up timely. I’ve long since strayed from that rigid regimen, because for the last decade I’ve been working from home, but I still need to put some pep in my step in order to get out the door daily to garner steps to attain my year-end walking goal.
Today’s post entitled “Having one’s ducks in a row” isn’t all about ME getting out the door to walk and visit my favorite parks – instead, it’s about three posts in a row centering around Mallard ducks, with an identical venue, Heritage Park. So, what’s up with that you ask? Well, the general consensus is you all seem to like ducks, so I’ll indulge you with one more duck post. Lots of squirrel posts will fill my blog in coming months, I assure you.
Ducks are a happy lot and to me they seem to be perpetually smiling … I mean, have you ever seen a duck having a hissy fit the likes of the histrionics exhibited by a Canada Goose? It’s fair to say that next to squirrels, ducks are my favorite critters to photograph.
So, after that siege of rain and flooding of Biblical proportions on June 25th, I knew any excursions to bigger parks would have to wait a while. Not only would my favorite shoreline parks have trails underwater, but the grounds would be soggy as well. Yes, I have rubber boots, but they aren’t conducive for long walks. So, I spent a lot of the soggy, foggy, buggy and muggy Summertime mornings walking at Council Point Park, as torrential rains and storms regularly wrecked havoc with my weekend walking plans. I had a few alternatives like Bishop Park or Dingell Park, along their respective cement Boardwalks, as well as tripping along lovely historical Heritage Park’s paved paths.
So I drove to Heritage Park the following weekend after “The Siege” where an unusual sight greeted me.
Weather for ducks.
I admit I’ve had some fun riddling this post with clichés like “ducks in a row” or “weather for ducks” and yes, you might have “quacked up” or chances are you’re rolling your eyes and groaning. It’s not as if the ducks and geese at Heritage Park don’t have a place to park their feathery butts. They have beautiful Coan Lake, the man-made pond that covers three acres and has a depth of 9 to 18 feet (2.7 to 5.4 meters). Coan Lake is stocked with a variety of fish, for catch-and-release fishing, thus it provides the waterfowl residents like Mallards and Canada Geese, as well as visitors like Cormorants and Ring-billed Seagulls, an opportunity to snag a snack.
But despite the amenities, as you see below, the Mallards meandered over to the saturated lawn near the parking lot where they discovered this pond. You may think it is a gulley, but no, it is not – the lawn was so saturated and nowhere for the water to drain, that this pond formed.
I whipped the camera out then stood there awhile watching them paddling and preening.
Duck, duck, goose.
What we had here was a case of “the haves and the have nots” as a small flock of Canada Geese were flying overhead, so their incessant honking had me tilting my head upward. They passed this pond and parking lot, no doubt heard the “quackcophony” of ducks at the new swimming hole, so they doubled back and landed near the pond.
“Wait, what?” is what their leader seemed to say as he shepherded a small group over to this newfound watering hole, then “what the hey, the more the merrier!” then promptly plopped into the pond to join their feathered, smaller brethren.
The Mallards didn’t seem to mind until this Canada Goose got a little too cozy with one of them.
The scene was picturesque and if I didn’t tell you it was just low-lying ground, saturated from “The Siege” and subsequent rainfall, you’d never have known, would you? There were some pretty reflections of one of our fine-feathered friends, like up top and right below.
This Mallard seemed to test the depth of the water by waddling along with its bright-orange webbed feet on the grassy pond bottom.
The reflections on the water of the 139-year-old West Mound Church, which has been going restoration after a devastating fire nearly gutted the interior on November 2, 2020, were better than looking at the original.
The waterfowl wading pool party was the highlight of this excursion.
I meandered around the historical village area …
… then over to the Community gardens.
I finished up at the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where I got the only butterfly shots of the entire Summer and those photos will be fodder to share in a separate post.