Wonderful Summer Hours

The spring and summer of 2013 were incredible. We had the pleasure of watching several water fowl families grow and take wing. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might recall the day we first saw our family of Canada Geese fly. I took thousands of pictures that year. No kidding; I think I was averaging about 1,500 a month, up to 2,000 at one point. It was such a privilege to watch one family after another rear and train babies for life. Whether it was the Mallard ducklings who all seem to move in the same direction at the same time — they never go anywhere without the others, or the Canada Goose goslings that were mighty feeding machines — honestly, I think they eat non-stop, the baby Coots that were so incredibly tiny — their feet and back ends so much larger than the rest of them, or the Tufted ducklings that were a rare sight as they are very shy — almost impossible to see because of their colouring. For months we watched them change and grow, delighting in every moment, calling to one another over the slightest new behaviour.

This week’s photo challenge was to present photos of things that might be gone from our lives, but will never be forgotten. These four pictures definitely represent that summer. The first two were taken at the end of May/beginning of June; the second two a few weeks later.

May 26 - Mama wasn't far away, so this independent little guy was quite safe.
May 26 – Mama wasn’t far away, so this independent little Coot Chick was quite safe.
June 2 - The Goslings', like all water babies, are completely comfortable in water. Especially with Mama and Papa watchfully close.
June 2 – The Goslings, like all water babies, are completely comfortable in water. Especially with Mama and Papa watchfully close.
June 19 - I watched them side by side as they groomed themselves, the little one all legs and bulbous behind. Turned away for a moment and came back to find Mama straddling the little one. Guarding? Grooming? I have no clue.
June 19 – I watched them side by side as they groomed themselves, the little one all legs and bulbous behind. Turned away for a moment and came back to find Mama straddling the little one. Guarding? Grooming? I have no clue.
June 19 - The goslings are beginning to develop their adult colouring. The one I came to think of as Dad's 'Lieutenant' because he was always in the front with Dad is on the right.
June 19 – The goslings are beginning to develop their adult colouring. The one I came to think of as Dad’s ‘Lieutenant’ because he was always in the front with Dad is on the right.

We had the pleasure of another three or four weeks watching before the families became adults and went off, or blended completely with the other adult birds. It was a rare pleasure and privilege, and neither of us will ever forget it.

For more things never forgotten go to: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/gone-but-not-forgotten

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