More than 200 waterfowl spend January and February on the old stockponds at Coldwater Farm. Daily, I scatter six pounds of rolled corn on the causeway between two of the ponds. Most of the ducks in the photographs below are mallards, but a few coots, ruddy ducks, pintails, ringnecks, and widgeons are present. Wood ducks came earlier but moved on.
Wild ducks are not serene. Furious battles and outbursts of quacks occur day and night. When it is quiet down at the ponds I know the ducks have fled a predator or a two-legged marauder.
The ducks look forward to the daily corn delivery. If I miss a day, they come to the backyard where they mill around clucking, quacking, and gleaning songbird feed. When I come out, they lead the way back to the pond, confident that the corn is coming.