I left you yesterday as a lone little duck took a thrilling leap off the edge of a dam. After its worried pacing back and forth at the top of the dam, and its distressed sounding cries, it threw itself off the edge. This poor little creature's fate was completely unknown... UNTIL NOW!
The lone little duck wasn't alone after all! It was actually a mother, and this mother's babies were waiting for it in the water at the bottom of the dam. If you look very closely at the picture that shows the mother duck's leap of faith, you will find two of the babies visible at the edges of the tall grass.
It's a very happy ending to part one of my story. This has been told in two parts because it happened in two parts for me too. I didn't see the babies until the duck splashed into the water and swam a little closer. The picture above was my first glimpse of the mother and her little ones.
That's when it all became clear. The distressed quacking and the nervous pacing was just a mother duck keeping her kids all in one place. She was watching them and telling them not to go far. She was probably pacing so she could find a good spot to land without hurting them. The quacking sounds were just duck language commands for the young ones to behave.
As you can see, the mother and all eight of the little ducklings were fine after she jumped down to meet them. The family was reunited and ready to move along their way. The children obediently lined up right behind their mom so she could lead them to their destination.
At times they formed a tight little group so they could navigate this little creek at the bottom of the dam. It hasn't rained very hard here in some time, so this creek is very shallow right now. At other times the lake can flood over the side and turn this peaceful little creek into a raging river.
In a shallow creek like this there are many obstacles. Things like branches or old boards block the way, and they have to make their way past. The water becomes so shallow in some places that the mother and even the babies have to wade through the water instead of swimming. This must have been a great adventure for these little ones.
All too soon, as I watched this family of ducks, they swam down the creek into an area hidden by trees. They were now out of sight, and I haven't seen them since. What at first seemed very strange and maybe distressing, turned out to be a story of a happy little family of ducks.
As I write this, I have just returned from this very same place. It seems that this whole incident may just be the normal routine for this family of ducks. I went back to there and found what looked like the same duck right back on top of the dam.
I waited for it to leap down again, but it didn't want me to see it happen this time. I looked for the babies, but all I saw was another female duck swimming in the creek below. I didn't see them last time either, so they were probably well hidden in the weeds while they waited for their mom.
As I was walking away, I heard the familiar sound of a splash behind me in the creek. I didn't go back. There was more adventure up ahead, and I was soon going to find it.