Having one’s ducks in a row.

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.

Coan Lake is NOT where you catch dinner for Friday’s Fish Fry.
Yep, Heritage Park takes care of its feathered friends.

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.

“Woo hoo – a new watering hole!”
Water encroached onto the walkway for the memorial trees.

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.

A gaggle of geese giggled with glee about this new 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.

“Hey – watch it Buster!”

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.

“Mirror, mirror ….”

This Mallard seemed to test the depth of the water by waddling along with its bright-orange webbed feet on the grassy pond bottom.

“Cool!!! No worries that I’ll drown here – it’s just past my kneecaps!”

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.

If the windows weren’t boarded up, you’d never guess the extent of the damage.
The inside is gutted from fire, plus water damage from dousing the flames.

The waterfowl wading pool party was the highlight of this excursion.

I meandered around the historical village area …

A view from the overlook – it would appear this green goo is pond scum/algae.
This is Frogbit, an invasive aquatic plant.

… then over to the Community gardens.

Eventually that table will be used to sort through all the produce gleaned from these gardens.
This pool of water should be siphoned into the gardens.
No ducks or geese had discovered this … yet.
Abundant sunshine and rain made beaucoup blooms at the entrance 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.

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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45 Responses to Having one’s ducks in a row.

  1. There is a large preserved parkland area near me. There is a stream running through it and it always floods the parkland around it. The ducks seize the opportunity to glide on the water. From the street it looks like a legit pond but it’s only temporary flooding. Within a day it’s gone but for that day the ducks have a blast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s funny because it is the same as here – the ducks have a place all to themselves, yet this was something different to explore. Variety is the spice of life, whether you’re a human or a critter. Made me smile watching them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. peggy says:

    I seldom get to see a duck in my area, but I do love them. This is such a great post and your pictures are wonderful. It’s always great to get out and commune with nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dave says:

    I don’t think about “ducks in a row” in the literal sense enough, so your post was a good reminder, Linda. Their little line-ups – whether on land or in the water – speak to nature’s beautiful spin on grouping. Last night I learned my niece was just engaged to be married and her mother texted, “… the wedding date depends on how quickly they get their ducks in a row”. Maybe she saw your post coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      What a coincidence Dave, because I don’t think it is all that common of a phrase anymore. I did smile at those ducks’ obvious delight in having discovered a new watering hole, not all that far from their huge pond and which was quickly encroached upon by the geese.


  4. Margy says:

    Fun visit! It really is ‘feast or famine’ isn’t it. You’ve had all that rain and we have drought conditions! We still have Canada geese, though. They land in the farmers fields after harvest to scoop up the grain that got left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Margy, we had all the dire warnings in April and May when we were in moderate drought… the farmers were worried sick. Then once Mother Nature turned the spigot on, it must’ve gotten jammed because we just finished our seventh wettest and ninth warmest Summer on record for metro Detroit. I hope we don’t have a repeat performance in 2022!


  5. Your duck friends must be very happy with all the rain you’ve gotten! Maybe not so much for you however? You wear your rubber boots much?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, don’t they look happy Wayne? The funny thing is, you can see Coan Lake from where they were happily splashing away. I did buy my red rubber boots and take them if it’s been raining, but they only come in whole sizes, so you don’t want to wear them for too long as they’re not comfortable for a long walk/hike. My walking shoes are very comfortable, like slippers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Ms. “soggy, foggy, buggy, muggy”…………………………..I love the “gaggle of geese giggled with glee”………………………………….alliteration………………….you are clever with words……………..I never heard of a “frogbit” plant before??huh??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I had some fun writing this post Ann Marie – those ducks and geese were having a great time paddling away … this was right next to the Sweet Shop right near the parking lot in case you were wondering. Frogbit is very tiny lily pads, but they are invasive as they spread so quickly.


  7. I loved having a ringside seat to watch your playing with words. That was fun. As always, your photos are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ruthsoaper says:

    Such great photos Linda, especially the one of the church.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joni says:

    You can never have too many ducks in a row! Great pictures and reflections!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The first picture is so pretty, a duck portrait in the middle of the ripple circle, so lovely! Our bird friends seem to know how to make the best of any situation or opportunity. I could learn more about being flexible from them. Love the duck checking out the water’s depth. What a wet, wet summer you had! It will be nice when they finish repairing the village church. It’s fun tagging long on your walksthrough the village at different times of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Barbara – the reflections on the water were stunning that day as the water was so still. I was laughing as I watched them splashing away not that far from their huge Coan Lake, a paradise for them. I could stand to be more adaptable too Barbara. It seems like years and years ago that I was flexible, game for anything … in fairness to both of us, life sure was easier back then. We’ve had a very nice week, Sunday through today, but getting a storm tonight and early morning, which may ruin my walk. Then the cooldown begins. I would like to get up to Heritage Park to take photos of the trees because they have lots of them and it is pretty to photograph. But as of now, our trees are still green, save for a few that always have their leaves turn early. We’re a week behind for colorsdue to the heat is what they told us, but I think we’re more than a week behind.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That picture of the church is amazing! The bits of dirt/grass in the water almost look like stars, and until I turned my tablet upside down I could almost convince myself I was looking at two mirror realities spliced together.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. How devastating that beautiful church caught fire. Even so, it is a beautiful picture you took.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Diane – it went up in flames pretty quickly last November. They were doing some remodeling and had just had a wedding in there a day or two before. They don’t have regular church services, but do have small weddings there. Apparently some construction equipment sparked and caused the fire with massive damage inside from flames and water.


  13. What a beautiful calm day you had to capture those gorgeous photos with reflections! The ducks are cool, too :-)! They sure know how to adapt to the change in seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Prior... says:

    Enjoyed the ducks and extra water feature – but most of all enjoyed your word play and use of phrases to make each section have its own word flavor – well done Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gorgeous pictures! I thought the church picture was watercolor; wonderful capture. Your captions “quack” me up. I got it from your post. lol
    I’m learning a lot of names for nature in your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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