Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
I saw the crested head of the drake wood duck first.
Usually, the woodies take off at first glimpse of Storm and me.
This morning, for some reason, we were able to get close.
And the sight of the drake framed between two shoreline branches just made me happy.
I think wood ducks are the most beautiful birds in the world, and my favorites.
Why I can shoot them would take a lot more rambles around the town pond to sort out.
Some of the appeal of wood ducks goes back to how rare they were when I was a kid.
I knew about wood ducks from pictures and paintings more than actual sightings.
But nest boxes, conservation measures including restrictions on daily bags, habitat restoration and some natural restoration through such things as increased numbers of beaver ponds have led to a major rebound in populations of woodies.
I think they nest somewhere around the town pond, but where I don't know. And haven't tried to find out.
Having them there is the treat I enjoy.
I wonder if they become as common as Canada geese whether we will think of them as nuisances, too. Or would their beauty save them?