Killer Ducks And Other Natural Disasters

Spring is here, spring is here. Life is skittles, life is beer. I think the very best time of the year is the spring. I do. Don’t you? I think I’d better stop now before Tom Lehrer comes after me for plagiarism. I don’t really mean to copy him, but frankly, I like the sentiment of the line. Life is skittles and beer in the spring. New plants and flowers are growing in the garden, the deer lose their shyness and eat the said plants so I never have to weed, and lastly the newly un-snow-covered dog-turds release a traditional fragrance which reminds us all that inside is cleaner and we should be watching reruns of the National Geographic specials if we want nature.

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Nature is just too dangerous and not for the faint of heart. Last year for instance, I went to the park for a short walk with my son and we were quickly set upon and trapped by a hoard of very strange creatures. They looked almost human which I admit was a very deceptive disguise. It lured us in very quickly. By the time I noticed the binoculars and long-range cameras it was too late. The jumped us, surrounded, and set upon us asking questions about the avians we had seen. Yes, we were attacked by birdwatchers. Our walk just happened to coincide with a warbler migration. Oh, horror.

Let me explain. Birdwatchers are a strange group who study flight paths of our feathered friends in the hopes of seeing a rare specimen. Apparently, I live in an area which happens to be a rest stop for warblers. You might not know this, but to cause a birdwatcher to miss spotting a bird, is a legitimate excuse to kill someone. Look it up. the case is People vs Irwin Noodlemeyer. Apparently, he stood up in front of a judge and plead guilty. When asked why, Irwin answered, “He made me miss a Ruby Throated, Yellow Crested Blackburnian Warbler.” The judge dismissed the case, grabbed a pair of binoculars and ordered Noodlemeyer to take him to the exact spot. Sad to say they’ve infiltrated out justice system.

Anyway, my son and I were frightened, being mobbed with so many questions, and surrounded by so many watchers. Luckily someone whispered, “Hey, there’s a Blue Throated, Black Beak,” and for some reason they all ran away to snap pictures. We slipped away with our lives intact.

You might think this is a minor thing, nothing but a group of overzealous hobbyists. Well I believe this behavior is caused by excessive exposure to nature not just simple exuberance. Why it wasn’t a hundred yards down the creek, we were following, we saw a flock of killer ducks. An old man, just trying to nice, had tossed a few pieces of moldy bread to some green-headed monsters. They came out of the water quacking and demanding more. The man threw a couple of crusts but the murderous fowl were not satisfied. I kid you not. They came at the man flapping and setting up a smoke screen of flying molted feathers. The feathers overtook the man and the ducks kept coming. We turned our heads away from the scene which was sure to be bloodier than the worst teen slasher movie. Thank goodness his lawyer showed up in time with a Cease-and-Desist order, and a few state troopers. The ducks went slowly back to the creek, but they kept looking back at the old man, threateningly, as if to say, “We’re still watching you.”

The thing is that if nature stayed within its boundaries it might be all right, but it doesn’t. When I was growing up there was a big department store parking lot across the street from the lake. The gulls claimed it as their own. For a while all species lived in harmony, until someone dropped half a donut. The morsel sat there for a few moments then the birds descended on it like they were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Overnight their love for people-food became unbelievable. At first, they were happy with scraps, but the need grew into open stealing. The donut shop had to close when a lady was attacked for her box of glazed delicacies. Peace returned only when it was decided a bag of fries allowed three humans safe passage. That was before the Canadian geese moved in.

The geese had pretty much kept to the golf course for several years until they bred to much. They needed more room and wanted that parking lot. It was a turf war of the first magnitude. And as in every war it was the innocent who suffered. As the birds played out their drama the geese learned of the Holy Grail of snacks, and started stealing from the gulls, but more so directly from the poor humans. There was much blood and carnage and few survivors. These days the parking lot and department store are just a ghost town. None but the stoutest of heart go there. To this day, though the fries are no longer, the geese and gulls still battle over the debris, even though all the spoils are long gone.

And just when you think there might be stability in the area once again, a new threat rears its ugly head. What horrors will befall us you can only imagine, but one look at these foul beasts strikes fear in the hearts of the most unbendable of men. I have seen the monstrous creatures myself and I fear the lake. For lack of a better name I have christened them the “Punk Ducks.”

If you have never seen the fowl creatures, I will attempt to describe them. First, they wear all gray, not white like a dove or black like a crow, but somewhere in between immediately labeling itself as a rebel. Then it has dyed its hair orange and shaved it into a mohawk. No good can come from this radical behavior. I even noticed its beak is curved at the end with a pointy hook. Obviously, a strange piercing of some sort. I only saw these freaks of nature swimming but I just bet they don’t wear belts and their pants hang over their butts showing off their underwear. It’s disgusting.

I started watching one bird sitting on the lake then another joined, then another and another. A gang was forming as I watched. Then from the side a bird, which looked very similar except it was well groomed with slicked back black feathers, came up to the freaks. A poor clean-cut youth was trying to get into the gang. A ranger tried to tell me that the slick one was a male and the orange ones with mohawks were females. It’s worse than I thought. The Punk Ducks are using sex and prostitution to recruit new members. In no time at all they’ll be taking over parking lots from the geese and gulls. It may not matter to you, but soon the geese on golf courses will be overrun as well. Then you’ll all take notice.

Yet another news story the press seems to ignore. But I wanted to mention it. Hey, since we’re all stuck inside because of Covid-19, we may as well think the rest of nature is dangerous too.

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27 thoughts on “Killer Ducks And Other Natural Disasters

  1. lol, so funny and yet as always, it is so true. From the dog poop that emerges after the snow melts to the bird watchers that yell at you if you get in the way. You are so right Mr. Ohh, seriously. I was on one side of the river once, and a group of photographers was on the other side. I did not know the protocol for what side of the river to be on in this area. They were yelling at me to get away from the side I was on. I looked behind me thinking they were yelling at me to look out. Nope, they had there cameras pointed my way, clear across the river and yelling at me to move. I just waved at them and that did not help. 🙂 See how accurate you are, I will link this on my next one. Still laughing, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would never think that , I approach life with your sense of humor also. You just say the words I wish I could think of. Life around us makes me laugh every day. My husband is the same way, and a friend of mine was just telling me last night that she took some bread and gave it to a couple geese, and all of a sudden she said all the geese noticed it and started heading for her. She quick got up and joined some joggers going by to hide from them. See, exactly what you said. So funny. I dont feed them for that reason. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What Am I Looking At • Into the Light Adventures Bird Photography

  3. Oh my gosh I found this to be hysterical. I will admit being a birder and a photographer myself, we can seem a bit much. We are serious. And we mean business. What gets me when I stand with my huge lens barrel extended looking up keeping as still as possible to zoom in on a bird that is hopping from branch to branch, praying I can get one good frame, is when a group of people start asking me questions like, “What are you shooting? What do you see?” You honestly think I would take my eyes off that bird for one millisecond much less answer these fools when I am otherwise very very focused on getting that shot? Not realizing how difficult it is to first see that bird through the branches and leaves, much less get in a clear shot of that bird, they are clueless what I am doing. I ignore them. Completely. If they think me rude, so be it. What’s more important is I GET THAT SHOT. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m the furthest thing from nasty. Evidently you have no idea how difficult it is to get shots of birds and how impossible it is to talk or move your eyes from where the bird is. I’m an enthusiastic naturalist who loves all things Nature and who is seriously passionate about my photography talents. People who don’t carry around 25 pounds just to get a shot of a bird don’t understand what stamina it takes to be a nature photographer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No worries. I’m just relieved our little misunderstanding has been addressed. I was confused by your comment since the post was written with humor. And thank you for understanding how difficult it is to capture a hidden and moving bird. All is good. See? Adults know how to communicate! GRIN!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sandra, when I am out in the field, I honestly try to avoid people. I am not antisocial yet when I am out with my cameras, I am there for one reason only and that is to capture beautiful birds. Ya can’t do that and talk at the same time. At least I cannot. It’s like expecting a writer to hold a conversation at the same time he or she is writing. Sorry. No can do. (smile)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I hear you, we have been pretty lucky most of the time. We take the back roads, or hike for miles to get to a location. Off the beaten path. Luckily the husband carries the heavy stuff though. I have been fortunate to see so many new birds this past year. I love it. Great photos on your lock and load post.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Busy morning here but when I get the chance I plan on coming by your blog, Sandra. Hubby does not carry my equipment. I carry two camera bodies one with a 100-400 lens (interpret heavy!) and I have a fanny pack containing my water bottle. I hike for hours with all this on my person. You don’t know how lucky you are about hubby! Tell him bless you! And I thank you about my pictures on lock and load. I’ve just begun! GRIN! It’s still early here (NY) but nevertheless, I’m shooting at anything with feathers to practice. Holding up that heavy lens for minutes without shaking is tough. I’m over 60 fyi and a woman. I will not let age beat me! LOL I love what I do too darn much!!
        PS I took a peak over at your blog and was amazed how many likes you get. I just don’t have the time like I used to in order to really put a great effort into blogging. I have so many “other” in my life. As it is, I get buried under comments all the time. Teehee …… Talk to you later!! xo

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I know exactly what you are saying. We are both photographers, he is portrait photography and just getting into landscapes and nature. I do a lot of shoots by my self, except when we are camping or traveling. Isn’t the hiking just the best way to get away from it all. I love it, I am 59 years old, so not to far behind you. We are still young and I don’t feel my age at all. It is our love of the outdoors I think. I look forward to seeing more of your adventures and photographs. Oh, when I first started bird photography I practiced mostly on Ringed Billed Gulls, they at times, can fly so slow and hover. Great practice for focus for me. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I’ll have you know I’m cheating by jumping ahead answering you but I’m SO enjoying this conversation. I’m running here there and on my way outdoors to attend to the horse next door and bird feeders. LOL Light is really crappy today for birding so I’m thinking of switching gears to get some soul touching pics of my Crocuses as they begin to die back.
        YES I love Nature!! To be outdoors that is MY element. When I’m walking in a forest and the solitude and quiet soak into my bones, my soul, I feel refreshed, uplifted and so so grateful that I have this place to go to. I don’t plan on quitting any time soon just like you. It is our LOVE that makes us young! YES! You get me! How thrilling!
        This will be my third year birding. I still consider myself in the learning stages. I have very strong arms and hands and some of the shots I’ve been able to get astound me. I feel so privileged that these birds allow me to photograph them! I say what I do because I KNOW they know I’m there.
        OK!! Now off I go to deliver apples and carrots to my horse friend next door and take care of the barn cats and then the birds. My morning cat routine is done. (our cats are special needs) Thank goodness. Then I can get back here and unbury myself from comments. LOL
        I SO enjoyed this conversation, Sandra. THANK YOU!!! xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yep. I have a vest and a belt, both made for cameras. I carry my long lens on my vest and my wide angle on my right hip. My fanny pack is on my left hip for balance. I exaggerated about the 25 pounds. That is only in the winter. Now it is probably 18 pounds. (smile)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the fun read, and quick laugh. I have a silly bird story myself. I wouldn’t say I’m a birdwatcher, but when nature acts funny I will watch with content. I honestly wished I had a camera at that. It kind of was one of those random things that might make one an avid birdwatcher – that is if it happened more often. Me and my boyfriend were taking a walk down an alley when we heard this ruckus. Not just any ruckus, but a cacophony of birds. We then saw a tiding of magpies on one roof, and a murder of crows on the roof next door. Between the houses was a crow and a magpie fighting. The on lookers cawed and chattered on as the avian fight club went on. It was such a strange but entertaining thing to see.

    Liked by 1 person

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