29 August 2020

76. Dad's Ducks

This place is full of ducks dipping in and out of green water. 

Here, life is abundant and packed with flickering reflections.

At the end of the lane, three Australian Wood Ducks sun themselves.

It is Stoney Creek, where my Dad lives along a narrow road.

Used to people feeding them, one came to us expecting bread.
Though I had nothing to offer, the duck stayed close to Dad and I.

It did what ducks are bound to do wherever ducks are found.
It dabbled in the soggy ground.

It looked so cute that I almost went back to the house to fetch something for it to eat. I saw the number of bird droppings covering the patch of lawn and how fat this Australian Wood Duck was before changing my mind. This fellow was already well fed by half the street. Still, it stayed, friendly and quite photogenic, I think it knew how gorgeous those deep dark eyes were.

Years ago, my parents’ neighbors had a mated pair of Chestnut Teal Ducks hatch fourteen ducklings in their back yard. Most lived, but pet dogs, foxes, Butcher Birds and Kookaburras mean only a few made it to adulthood. 

Still, the ducks keep on breeding whenever they can; striving to survive and continue their line.

Those who live beside Stoney Creek slow down as they drive their cars when ducks waddle along the middle of the road. I dont think anyone really minds giving them the right of way. I think they realize how good it is to have them around.

You’d have to be hard-hearted not to love a mother duck with a line of chicks that are beak-to-tail behind her. 

I wish my Mum was still around to share a morning walk along this street. She loved to see the ducks waddling, looking for a bite and digging for worms in the cold, damp grass. But, this was just my Dad and me together, both thinking of her.

My Dad walks along this road every day, sees the beauty that surrounds his home. Wish I could be with him at Lake Macquarie to walk and bird watch more often. The sight of ducks looking out on the bright water of Stoney Creek never gets old.

In 2020, any patch of peace and tranquility is pretty darn good.

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