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Skaneateles, where ducks soar and quack, too

Tuesday morning Feb. 15, I raised the thermal blind and looked out at the lake. About 200 ducks were milling around in the brilliant sunshine and seemingly undeterred by the cold weather (about 5 F). It was as if they knew that the Big Red Head had to have something to put into the Skaneateles Press this week. If they could talk, they would have told me where they have been hiding out since last Friday when they vanished. The group was about 98 percent Redheads, plus 4 to 6 Canvas Backs, a few Buffleheads, 6 to 10 Mergansers and 1 or 2 others mixed in. I looked over the flight with my binoculars and I did see a female Mallard paddling around with all those divers.

They were so close and so brightly lighted by a clear blue sky and a strong sun that the colors were just glistening. A Kodak moment! I got my camera limbered up, opened the slider, and raised the camera. One or two ducks spotted me and raised an alarm. The whole mess started their taxiing toward the northeast and in about 30 seconds they were all airborne. The splashing of the water and the roar of the wings was amazing. They then settled back down 400 yards offshore, so I got no pictures.

Our eagle got his face in the Post Standard on Sunday and it was a great photograph. It pays to have patience and, particularly, skill. I am awed by the photos that Marianne Angellilo has taken around Central New York.

$2 bill Durfee

My daughter-in-law Patrice sent me an extended article and obituary on the life of Raymond Durfee. He was the owner of Durfee Hardware on Rolf Street in Cranston, RI. This is a well-run old-time hardware store and I make an effort to get over to the store whenever I'm in Cranston.

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