Wednesday, August 27, 2008

California is for Duck Lovers

For some reason I kept discovering strange ducks on this trip to California. Who can explain the profusion of odd waterfowl everywhere I turned? I was able to capture the phenomena with today's digital technology. Otherwise I'd have to sketch these things like John James Audubon and that's too much of a commitment for me. Here's some instant odd duck gratification.

At Pixieland Amusement Park in Concord I found this duck with a mohawk, waddling around, trying to avoid some Canadian Geese bullies. With Canadian Geese, you can see where the term "pecking order" comes from. I don't know if this duck is considered cool or weird by the rest of his duck brethren. He did have a slight air of insecurity about him.

Today at Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, we found this duck lurking about, waiting for us to throw some popcorn his way. He wasn't actually lurking. He was just hanging out in the shade, being chill. But what a strange-looking fellow! I was describing his looks to our five-year-old friend Alex. "Alex," I said. "This duck is like a mixture of a turkey, a vulture and a duck." Alex took a look and said, "And a COW."
So true! Here's a close-up of his bovine-like markings:
As we walked around the lake, we spotted this lovely specimen, who kind of looks like the spawn of a duck and a seagull. Could she be posing with her parents in this photo? Here's a nice comparison between a regular-looking brown duck and this graceful little creature.
Paddle-boats make you think duck-like thoughts as you slowly make your way across the water.
We're heading back home now. I'm very sorry not to have seen some of my California friends. It's difficult to drive around and plan something for each day. Too much distance between people, and we needed some down time and time with the family. We'll be back...

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