Friday, 22 March 2013


There’s a superstition in these here parts that if March should come in like a lamb, then it’ll go out like a lion. This year there would appear some truth to the saying, for just when it was thought that winter was on its way out, back it came with a fury. In the past few days we’ve experienced several late snowstorms accompanied by strong winds out of the northwest dropping the wind-chill down to  minus 20C. The good news is that when the sun does shine the snow is quick to retreat. Spring is definitely on the way with the ducks not too far behind. 

Green-winged Teal  Hand-coloured Etching

Common Loons     Coloured Etching
One evening while canoeing in a northern lake a pair of loons swam
from the darkness of the shore out into the reflection of the  sunset.

Bachelor Flight - Pintails
Hand-coloured Etching

Blackwater -  Mallards  Hand-coloured Etching

Bufflehead Ducks   Hand-coloured Etching

No sooner has the ice gone off the marsh when the Bufflehead show up.
 Cute to watch as they bounce about on the waves and sort of plop into the water on landing.
Interesting how they got their name. Like the American bison, or buffalo, their head appears large, and so they were called Buffalo Head shortened to Bufflehead.

Courtship Flight  ( Mallards)   Hand-coloured Etching

I originally entitled this etching Rape Flight, but it didn't seem right despite the fact that the description is essentially correct. Disney would have us believe that everything in nature is sweet and nice, but this is far from the truth. Mallards rarely choose a mate. Generally, what happens is that the duck is forced to mate with more than one drake. Every time that she takes flight, during the so called mating season, she is pursued by several drakes that will, if they're able, force her down in the water and copulate with her. Sometimes the duck is drowned in the act. Nature can be cruel.

Drake Canvasback   Hand-coloured Etching

Drake Mallard   Hand-coloured Etching

Drake Wood Duck    Hand-coloured Etching

Dropping In  -  Canada Geese     Coloured Etching

Long Point - Tundra Swans   Etching

Early one spring we went to a marsh located at Long Point on Lake Erie to view Tundra Swans as they migrated through the area. It was cold that spring. We almost froze walking the marsh
 and came away with spotting only a few pairs, but it was worth it....... or so I told myself.

Settling In  (Mallards)   Hand-coloured Etching

Drake Pintail  Hand-tinted Etching

Still Waters   (Common Loon)  Coloured Etching

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