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Monday, May 8, 2017

New Life

Spring brings many signs of new life. Green grass, tulips and daffodils, yellow forsythia, and redbud trees in bloom. On Saturday, I found something new. A nest under a rhododendron. The fact that I could see it out my living room window made it more interesting. Amazingly, the nest held about fifteen eggs and Mama Mallard stood nearby. Did I take a picture then? Of course not. Talk about a missed opportunity. When I did grab my phone (my nearest camera), Mama had settled on top of her eggs. If you look carefully, you can see her tail feathers.


Four years ago, when we finally choose a location for our new home, I was slightly disappointed that we didn't back to trees. (That lot was in a flood zone.) Instead we chose the lot that backed to a pond (along with twenty-two other lots). We have enjoyed the inhabitants of that pond--the ducks, especially. We could do without the geese (who decorate our lawn with green deposits) and the muskrat whose hole in our lawn could be a leg-breaking hazard.

But the ducks are entertaining. They return each spring, build nests, and have their babies. Several of the neighbors (and Hubs) toss bread to them, making them so tame they come right up to the house as soon as they hear the slider opening. 

This spring is the first time we've found a nest on our property. Right next to our house! (This is the rhododendron. I can't see her in the above picture.) I keep hoping to catch Mama off the nest so I can take that picture. According to my resident researcher, the gestation period is 24 to 29 days. We have no idea when she laid the eggs. As you can see from the picture, she's well camouflaged. And she doesn't move, even when Hubs goes out the front door to get the newspaper or when I went out to take a picture. Apparently, she will leave the nest to get food and drink. Perhaps when the area warms up near our supper time. As I write this, the nest is in the shade, so she's busy keeping those eggs warm.

Mamas are like that, aren't they? We keep our babies warm, give them what they need, and above all protect them. In my newest cozy mystery, The Case of the Meddling Mama, Nick's mother has returned home to Michigan from Arizona where she and his dad retired. Leaving her husband of almost forty years had to be a difficult decision. But what's a woman to do when her spouse doesn't listen to her?

I'll keep my eye on Mama Mallard and take pictures when she leaves the nest. Can't wait for the grandkiddies to see this.

How is spring where you live?






4 comments:

  1. I love ducklings! We don't really have any here that I've seen but we do have the Sandhill Crane babies, and they look like ducklings when they're first born. :)

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    1. I didn't know that about Sandhill Cranes. Mama Mallard finally got off the nest. I'll post the picture in my FB Readers' Group. If you don't belong, go to the top left of this page for the link.

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  2. You are just like me! I love this time of year. Of course, I hate the cold, but I also love the new beginnings of everything: life, flowers, buds on the trees :) We even had our resident turtle back this year. It took me a few minutes to see her tail feathers, but I finally did :)

    Elsie Amata

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elsie. I hate the cold, too, but not as much as extreme heat. I love the mild temperatures of spring & fall. Do turtles go very far? or do they hibernate?

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