Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Mallard Family Visits

I am certainly going to miss the visiting wildlife here when we move. Oh sure we will still have visiting jackrabbits, skunks, raccoons, the occasional opossum and many song birds, we won't have the visiting waterfowl. Over the past several years while living on the water we have come to think of the visiting waterfowl almost as pets. We ensure their habitats are kept to their liking to encourage their return and just like song birds we feed them. The swans and mallards bring their babies back to visit us pretty much daily so they really do consider our home their home.

Mallard drake with henMallard Drake

The Mallards started visiting us shortly after we moved here in 2007. They were very timid as if trying to figure out whether we were friend or foe. They must have like us because the same pair have been visiting us ever since. In spring of 2008 they nested under our evergreens. No one was allowed near the nesting site so that meant the dock was off limits. Papa Mallard has beautiful feather colours with a gorgeous deep shiny emerald green head. He is usually around when Mommy Mallard is nearby.

He has become quite friendly even following me around when I'm near the water. He loves sitting on the dock railing just watching over his domain. This year the mallards are getting even more comfortable. Here they are playing in a low puddle in our backyard only about 10' from our house.

Mallard hen with drakeMallard Hen

The Mallard hen is ever so friendly except when on the nest. Well even then she is friendly because she knows we won't disturb it. Female mallards like most birds are drabber in colour likely an evolutional adaptation to prevent predation while nesting. Still I think she is quite pretty.

The couple enjoyed playing in puddle created by a low level in the yard that was caused by a former paved formal garden. During heavier periods of rain this low area fills ups forming a bit of a small pond. The mallards were enjoying the warmth of the sunshine while collecting a few earthworms. It really looked like they were enjoying themselves as much as I did taking pictures of them.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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