Sunday, 10 May 2009

Ducks



Some of us have blogged about our pets. So, today I'm blogging on ducks.

Why ducks? They're beautiful birds, and they're also large enough to see. As spectacular as many songbirds are, they're small. Even the bright red cardinal, unless he's perched on your feeder, is hard to identify.

Not that I have a pet duck. Much as I love ducks, they, like all birds, splat all over everything. Better that they stay in the pond and keep their tails, and my yard, clean.

But I go to the waterways to visit them. I can usually find the most common duck in the northern hemisphere, the mallard. Because they're so abundant, we tend to take them for granted, but these largest of the wild ducks are striking birds.

Eastern North America, where I live, is home to one of the most spectacular ducks in the world, the North American Wood Duck. Wood Ducks do not often appear in the open like mallards do, but I can usually find them in wood-shaded ponds, which they prefer.

The two gorgeous specimens are males, or drakes. In most species of duck, the drake is the more colorful of the pair. And in the species where the male is colorful, there are usually more drakes than hens. So, the drab hens can pick and choose among these avian hunks. Lucky duckies.

I don't just watch ducks, I collect them, too. Not real ones, but everything else. I went duck happy, with my husband aiding and abetting me.

I have porcelain ducks of all sizes, wooden ducks of all sizes, pewter ducks, a duck mirror, duck clothes hooks, duck clothes hangers, lots of duck stuffed toys, duck plates, duck towels, duck bath mats, a duck show curtain, two stuffed ducks (a mallard and a wood duck) that my husband found somewhere, duck prints, duck paintings, duck cups, duck decorative plates, but not ones you can eat off, a Duck Crossing sign, duck soap, duck candles, a duck blanket, a duck bedspread, duck return address labels, duck books, duck postcards and duck postage stamps.

I also buy a US Federal Duck Stamp every year.

A century ago, the North American Wood duck was hunted almost to extinction for its feathers, which were used to adorn women's hats. Thanks to government protection of the bird and its habitat, the Wood Duck has made a spectacular comeback. Great Meadows, the National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, Massachusetts, not too far from where I live, was instrumental in saving the wood ducks by providing a safe breeding area.

http://www.fws.gov/northeast/greatmeadows/

The Duck Stamps fund the National Wildlife Refuges. 98% of the money from the sale of duck stamps goes directly to protect wetlands, like Great Meadows.
http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/

My duck stamp purchase helps to insure that my friends, the ducks, will always grace the waterways of America.

Ducks should have a Happily Ever After, too.

Thank you, all
Linda


Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal.


Lady of the Stars--A legend spanning time, and the man and woman caught in it--Regency time travel, available from The Wild Rose Press

Pumpkinnapper--Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled, and a jealous goose. Oh my--coming September 30, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press

http://www.lindabanche.com/

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9 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

Gorgeous post, Linda! Thank you for sharing your love of ducks. They are pretty, appealing birds - the ancient Celts loved ducks, too, and had duck motifs as decorations.

I also really enjoy the fact that a goose features in your forthcoming title: 'Pumpkinnapper'.

Do you plan to feature any other ducks or beasts in other novels?

Kathleen said...

I like you post Linda. It is nice to care about a species that the world just takes for granted. Good on you.

Linda Banche said...

Lindsay, nice to know the Celts also liked ducks.

My WIP trilogy, "The Feather Fables", is full of birds, but mainly ducks and geese. I probably should do a post on geese.

Kathleen, thanks. I'd be happy if everyone enjoyed and helped the ducks.

Sandra Kay said...

Wonderful blog, Linda. I don't think I had ever heard of the Wood Duck. Nice pictures!

Savanna Kougar said...

Fascinating about the Celts. I knew they had ducks in their lore, but not that level of duckie love.

Linda, when did you first fall in love with ducks?

And, I also adore your goose in Pumpkinnappers.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Sandra,thanks. My husband found the duck pictures. He uses them as screensavers on his computer.

Savanna, duckie love! It's infected me, too.

I've been duck happy for more years than I care to remember. The first duck I collected was a ceramic mallard drake figurine. I still have it.

I like my Pumpkinnapper goose, too. He looks exactly like his cover picture. **grins**

LK Hunsaker said...

I didn't know about the duck stamps!

Grandma loved birds of all kinds and I can't think about ducks without remembering the pair of hand-carved wooden mallards she had sitting on her window sill along with tons of other duck and bird figurines. :-)

Linda Banche said...

Hi Loraine,
As many people have told me, the best thing you can do for the ducks is buy a duck stamp. They're at your post office, or the link above.

Your grandmother and I have a lot in common!

Kaye Manro said...

Linda this is a fantastic post! Thanks for telling us about the duck stamps. What a wonderful thing to do for the ducks.