I was up this morning making coffee and watching the Sunday talk shows when I noticed a duck swimming in the pool out the window. The ducks seem to like our pool because it is just over a fence from a small lake that they spend all year swimming in. Unfortunately, they poop in the pool and, in the summer heat, algae becomes a serious problem. My first response when seeing ducks in the pool is to chase them out. This time was different.
When I started to go out the door, I noticed that the female duck had an escort. She had her duckling swimming right along her right wing tip. I watched them for a while and finally opened the door. The mother duck squawked and jumped out of the pool. The duckling could not get up to the deck from the water. The distance was too great. After a few minutes, the mother duck gave up flew away. I decided I would help the duckling out of the water although I couldn’t see how he had gotten into the yard. He must have walked under the gate which does have a gap of about 6 inches although it is screened by a lot of flowers.
As soon as the duckling saw me, he was excited and, as soon as I headed his way, he would madly paddle the other. He practically was airborne he was paddling so furiously. I tried to use the small skimmer net to lift him out but he was just too fast. Finally, I went up and woke Cindy to help me. We came downstairs and looked out but no duckling. I figured he had gotten out somehow. Cindy was up now and she decided to lie in the sun while I watched the rest of the talk show.
A few minutes later, she opened the door and came in with the duckling in her hand. She had decided to look in the pool skimmer and there he was. He went madly paddling away but came back to the skimmer and she caught him. We decided to put him through the fence onto the sand next to the larger lake. We couldn’t see the mother duck but hoped she would find him before a coyote did. Cindy set him down and he huddled on the sand.
After a few minutes, she reached down to pet him and he took off running to the lake. He dove in and then the mother, who had been sitting under a tree nearby, came flying over and took him in hand. A few minutes later, they were paddling around the lake as though nothing had happened. I hope she learned her lesson as we might not be here to rescue the ducking the next time.
Another quiet Arizona Sunday morning.