Yesterday, Aug. 6, I looked out to the north and, resting on my dock were five almost full-grown mallard hens and two merganser hens. The morning sun illuminated them with great detail and I took advantage of the good lighting to snap a picture of these ladies of leisure. The mergansers were a little hard to identify, as the signature tufts at the back of their necks were not developed yet. The identity was soon confirmed as they hopped off the dock and swam 10 to 20 yards north, then dived and resurfaced about 20 yards farther to the north.
This collection of female ducks is very unusual. In my observations, if a female is not burdened with childcare, a bunch of green-hooded Romeos will be paying constant attention. They splash and flirt and in season, each will try to cut a lady loose from the others for his entertainment. Sort of like boys at the senior prom, but no one hollers, “get a room.”
Mr. Lemon seems to enjoy his walks to the corner and back with Victoria. When she shows up with the leash, he perks up, strolls out of my desk well, and slides over to Victoria as if to say, “Can we go for a stroll now?” They are headed to the lake today to have a good sniff here and there along the way. He will enjoy that a lot more than a march to the corner and back.
When I was in Stonington, Conn., recently, I picked up some literature about the community forming a non-profit group to raise money to secure parts of the Davis farm which has been in the same family since the end of the 1600s. One section is around the original home farm and the other is along the shore where they cut salt hay. A dockage was also established to move goods and produce to and from the farm.