Have you ever longed to observe a wild duck up close? (And no, I don’t mean as confit!) Well, this female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) strolled (okay, waddled) up to me while I was sitting on the bank of a pond photographing a Great Blue Heron hunting on the opposite bank. She gwhaakk, gwhaakk, gwhakked at me, then promptly set about her morning ablution and post-preen nap, not more than two feet from me.
There is something precious about a wild animal choosing to visit me of her own accord, and it was a privilege to have the opportunity to peruse the delicate intricacies with which God Created her. Even as she slept, she kept up a running commentary of barely audible squeaks whenever another duck waddled too close, or in response to a duck cacophony in other parts of the pond. When truly roused, she might open her eye just long enough to warn off an intruding duck, which is what I waited for to snap this photo. What an amazing presence in her eye!
I imagine many people consider a ubiquitous Mallard, and a female at that, dull and uninteresting, but just take a moment to appreciate the warm golden hues created by the rising sun, the intricate patterns of each and every feather, and even the hints of iridescent sheen visible. Absolutely stunning, and another of His wonderful gifts!
(To purchase any of my photos, visit my photography site: on the 5th Day Photography)