|Bubbie Howling at Mallards|
|Mallards Among Other Visitors|
|And Will Take Flight|
|Males Have a Bright Green Head|
|Resting or Nesting in a Grass Island?|
Bubbie was a whip-tailed German Short-haired Pointer who loved mallards. He had a stuffed duck that he'd romp up and down the hallways with or take in car rides. He was born in our house at a time when my children were unfolding their own wings. He stayed on as my dog.
In 2007 all I knew of ducks were mallards. When Bubbie died from a freak accident, I left his duck in my car. When I felt like I couldn't handle everything that was happening in our lives back then, a lone mallard would fly by. I called these sightings, Bubbie Ducks. They led me to a spiritual awakening.
It was a seed of hope that grew into the seed of a novel. I began to imagine Bubbie as a character who was alive. So where did he live? I decided that Bayfield, WI was heaven on earth so Bubbie lived there. I created a character and as I wrote, I realized that the story was her hero's journey.
The novel became, "Miracle of Ducks." It's a story about learning to hope through loss. The title refers to the character's spouse who witnessed a sighting of a lifetime as a boy -- thousands upon thousands of mallards migrating and landing on a land-locked body of water in the otherwise dry west.
Mallards do not migrate that way to or through Elmira Pond. In fact, I see few mallards here. The pond attracts more divers than dabblers, which speaks to its depth and fish population. The pond also has frogs, tadpoles and maybe crawdads.
Mallards like to graze and quack.
Another observation from the pond is that mallards are more timid. When a couple arrived early in March, I startled them by going out to the pond and they flew off. The geese just honked and other ducks swam to the far end. This year, the mallards have been dozing on a grass island. Maybe they'll stay and give us a miracle of ducklings.
No doubt, mallards will always hold a special place in my heart. I will always think of a lone mallard as a Bubbie Duck. And in flight, they remind me that in times of trouble, all I need to do is look up.
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