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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Searching for Louise

Yesterday, Kona and I walked to the nearest lake (about 7 blocks away) and took a long walk around the perimeter of the lake looking for Louise. We saw all different types of ducks, coots, geese, turtles, snakebirds, herons, egrets -- but no Louise. And then, Kona was nearly attacked by a very mad white goose. I was losing hope, 3/4 around the lake, and still no Louise. In fact, I hate to admit, but I was nearly in tears.

So I said to Bob, "Sweetheart, if you truly sent those ducks to me, please show me a sign that she is here or find her and send to somewhere I can see her, please!  I just want to know she and her babies are okay."

And Kona and I continued walking, searching the water, when I noticed some graffiti on a culvert on the lake's edge that I had never noticed before:

So I stopped there, searching the water near this culvert which was filled with lily pads and reedy water plants and murky and didn't see anything except a turtle.

So I sat down.

Waited.

Watched the lake.

And in the distance, about 30 feet away, a duck's head popped out of the water lilies and my heart skipped a beat and she swam out of the lilies and it was, my god, I thought, Louise -- but I wasn't quite sure as she was far from me, but then I saw the ducklings and I knew it was her. The ducklings were swimming in and out of the lilies so fast and the best count I got was six of them at once, but hopefully, the other three were under the lilies.

Louise and ducklings, happy and safe!
All I can say is she is one lucky duck to have made it through the busy streets to that lake -- or perhaps she had some spirit guides!!


Update March 29: went back to the lake today and saw Louise plus at least 7 ducklings, maybe 8. Some guy saw me watching and came over to see the ducklings and commented on them, I said, "Those are my ducks!" and he looked at me like a crazy lady -- ha! So had to explain the whole story -- and then he told there's an otter in this lake that eats ducklings --- eeeeeeeek! Didn't need to hear that.

Praying for a white light protecting these duckies from The Evil Otter.

I know this pic isn't clear --- but I am counting at least 7 here!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Vanished!

video
On Saturday morning, I went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and was shocked to look out my back door (which is glass) and see Mama duck with all her babies circling her, standing at my back door looking at me through the window! So cute, they waddled all the way up the wheelchair ramp to get to my back door --- wish I'd taken a photo --- but just thought, jeepers, you guys must hungry so I went out and fed them.

That day, I was helping my friend Hillary move and when I came back later that afternoon, the ducks were still there. But 45 minutes later, when I went out to feed them, they were all gone -- simply vanished!

I, of course, checked all over the yard. Walked down the alley -- nothing. Finally got in my car, drove to the nearby lake, worried --- but didn't see any dead ducks on the busy streets --- didn't find her at all.

Waited today, all day, and they haven't come back.....

Mixed emotions here:  worried about their safety, sad to see them gone, relieved that I don't have to transport them myself.

And then I think that Louise (mama duck) was at my back door that morning, proud mama surrounded by her babies, to say "goodbye" or perhaps "thanks for your hospitality" knowing she would be leaving that day....

(The above video was the last "picture" I took of them....)

Friday, March 24, 2017

A New Use for a Slideboard

I took Bob's slideboard which we used to transfer from wheelchair to bed etc. stapled towels to it and made a non-slip ramp so the ducklings can get out of the pool. It works!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Babies!!!!


Just happened -- would have tried to get closer pictures but Louise (Mama) was having nothing to do with it -- so I'm going to leave her alone ----


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Duck Update

Finally, the guy from Fish & Wildlife got back to me --- and after "researching" the photos I e-mailed him, he tells me that he thinks my ducks are NOT pure Mottled Ducks, but hybrid ducks, a mix of the rare Mottled Duck with probably a Mallard.

So, he tells me, since they are no longer endangered ducks --- they are actually nuisance ducks, and as such, I can move the nest, destroy the nest, kill the mama ----- jeepers. Anyone for duck stew and scrambled eggs?

From one extreme to the other --- first don't touch, don't feed, to go ahead and destroy them. Of course, I would never ever do that.

But I'm thinking, what's this? The Nazi Duck Police? I mean, just because they are not "pure" they suddenly become a nuisance??? Doesn't seem very humane at all to me... And seems to me, this is just nature taking its course and by the way, isn't this the same agency that is importing Texas Pumas to breed with Florida Panthers because the panther is endangered?

Well, as Bob would say, "whatever".

Louise (mama duck) is still nesting comfortably. And since no longer "endangered" I am feeding her, trying to gain her trust so that, when time comes, we can hopefully transport her & ducklings to a nearby lake:


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Duck Dilemma

Well, yikes. So now I have a duck with 13 eggs and that duck maybe a species of duck on the "watch list" for potentially endangered ducks....

Of course, I am not a duck expert. But looking on the internet, and knowing by sight they are not typical Mallard Ducks, they do look like Florida Mottled Ducks -- which are on the "watch list" for a species that is potentially endangered....

So, I talked with Hillary (my vet and friend) and she suggested calling Suncoast Seabird which is a rescue group and I did that today and they referred me to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission which I called and talked to a nice guy and told me if in fact they are Mottled Ducks (a potentially endangered species) -- don't touch them, don't feed, don't do anything --- let mama duck just do her thing and then asked me to send pictures which I did (haven't heard back yet) so he could verify if they are in fact Mottled Ducks or some other duck...  Weird thing is if they are NOT Mottled Ducks I could actually get a permit to have them removed but if they are --- don't touch, don't do anything --- 

He also told me, if they are Mottled Ducks,  to put a fence around my pool so ducklings don't get into it ---- ???? and I'm like what? and how?

And said leave gates open (after I said my yard is fenced in) to let mama duck take her babies away ---
and I'm thinking, jeepers, the nearest pond/lake/natural environment is over half a mile away and how is this duck gonna make it across some very busy streets with a row of little ducklings  --  plus I have dog! so open gates, I mean, you know.. anyway

Oh by the way, I named mama duck Louise ----  after one of my all time favorite movies Thelma and Louise ---

But jeepers --- this is turning into a Duck Dilemma

I was really hoping some agency could just come and get them and take them away to a safe environment....

Pool guy was here today to clean pool and I warned about Louise and he was good about it but she did come out and swim around the pool, watching him carefully -- so cute!

But omg -- what to do? And now my pool of "off limits" to both Kona (esp. Kona) and me --- yikes

Louise