Duck Days of May

Seems like we’ve had the wettest Spring in many a year. Spring Hollow Run has definitely been ‘running’ ever since Hurricane Sandy back last October. With all that raining & running has come the ducks!! It started with the arrival of the dandy male mallards in March or April. Just the bachelor guys hanging out and waiting for the gals to arrive. You could see groups of 3 or more males almost everywhere in downtown Woodstock, especially near the ‘Hollow Run as it winds from the west, through the southern part of town, & on down to the North Fork of the Shenandoah to the east.

Then the ladies appeared & all heck broke out! The squawking was amazing, deep into the dark of night as the pairing up began. We’ve seen and heard some downright brawls break out at times. And now, as the pairing has been settled, the babies are making their appearances. Tiny bits of fluff swimming up creek with mama and parading through our backyard eating whatever moves in the grass. At last count it’s mama & 9 little ducklings. I refuse to count the brood anymore…don’t want to get my heart broken as a few little ones disappear from the line. Just gonna continue enjoying ‘our ducks’ for the first time in quite a few years.

If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse from the bridge as they float down along the lazy flow of Spring Hollow Run…stop on by & take a peek.

Postscript:  Well, I lied, I’m still counting ducklings and we’re holding at 7 robust adolescents about 1/2 the size of mama.  Hubby & I rescued one little tubby babe recently who had gotten stuck trying to go through some wire fence.  Mama duck alerted me when I heard her frantic quacks in the back yard.  Appears they were snacking on mulberries that had fallen from a tree that grows by a fence line.  One enterprising youngun went around the fence to get the fruit on that side & apparently tried to take a shortcut back to mama.  The rescue went flawlessly & baby joined the group who waited patiently nearby, except for mama, who snipped at our fingers through the wire – thank goodness ducks don’t have teeth!

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