Sunday, August 19, 2007

Not So Goosey

I have shamefully neglected my Chronicles so far this summer. I will try to catch up with goings on here on the lake.

A while back, as you may recall, I had fallen on some financial straits and as a cost cutting measure reduced then stopped feeding the geese whose numbers had grown quite large. Having so many geese padding around on the lawn led to a severe shortage of grass. With the rain things got muddy. This year I actually have some grass out back along with the usual variety of lawn greens. However as a consequence, the geese rarely stop by now. Someone on the other side of the bridge on the far shore has taken up where I left off and goose loyalty is not really a part of their lifestyle. Oh yeah, every so often they stop by with their huge families but for the most part, they hang out at the other place.

Now things seem to be just ducky. I have learned that not only are ducks pushy and noisy, they also are pretty loyal whether you feed them regularly or not. Ducks here are varied but mostly Mallards or some similar type. One of the drakes I named Malcom, has a bum leg, a birth defect and at least one of his yearly offspring has the same defect. Their one leg is stiff and slightly shorter than the other resulting in a prominent limp. They do just fine.

Ducks have large families. Once the eggs are laid and hatched, the drakes take a hike leaving the rearing to the ducks. It is not unusual to see a mother with 13 babies in tow. Make no mistake about the ducklings. They run like the wind from the first and catching them is a chore if indeed one has to catch one. They trot along behind mom in a row. The mother duck defends them with life and limb. One time when a small one managed to maneuver itself under the fence and onto the patio, the mother went berserk quacking and flapping frantically. Nothing would do than my catching said duckling and returning it to the family. Once I finally caught the duckling, mom exploded into a karate fling of her wings and feet, nipping and flapping to injure. It all turned out well, but I must say being attacked by a duck rivals being attacked by a goose.

Oklahoma has had more rain in July than we usually get all year so the lake is up and is simply lovely with the gracefully swimming waterfowl. I must mention that the lake also contains big snapping turtles and some various snakes to boot. On July 4th, we had rather cool temperature but when the sun finally came out everyone was in the swimming mood. Because of all the lightening and rain, the complex delayed opening the pool until later in the summer. This did not deter some young girls from wading into the lake. No one got bitten, and since it was chilly they came out pretty quickly. I was holding my breath for them as their parents were nowhere in sight. It is forbidden to swim here in the lake but they did anyway and are very lucky young girls.

Life has been pretty tame so far this summer. Except for the remnants of Hurricane Erin rolling into Oklahoma as a tropical storm, calm prevails.

Until next time.

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