Snapshot Saturday: Oooh, ducklings!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge invites us to share images of those things that distract us from the important business of Getting On With Daily Life.

This is an easy one.  Since about Easter, here in our village, the distraction has been ducklings.  Sweet little balls of fluff that appeared at Easter, rapidly matured towards lankier childhood then … oh!  …. vanished.  A jealous mallard?  A fox?  Who knows?  Another brood appeared soon after.  Here are two of them.

Ducklings on a sparkling pond.

This time, they’ve managed to grow up.  They sit around the pond in bored huddles in the manner of teenagers everywhere.  They’re still charming enough to be distracting when they put their minds to it though.

But those moorhens who moved in.  They’ve been nothing but a worry.  One day, a chick broke its foot, and distressed us all by somehow rolling and dragging itself forward across the grass as its mother looked on with apparent indifference.  Since that day, we’ve had occasional sightings of a lone parent, a lone chick.  But the family seems to have scattered.  This has been distracting too.  But not in a good way.

Is this the moorhen chick who broke its foot? We’ll never know.

Snapshot Saturday: Rearing the next generation

Mother and babies on Good Friday. Yes, I know you can only see seven. There’s always one off exploring ….

It was a couple of days before Good Friday when we first saw them.  Mrs. Mallard swimming on the village pond with her eight tiny ducklings.  We kept a proprietorial interest in them, and were dismayed when over the next few weeks they became seven, then five …. then only two balls of fluff.  These two kept growing until they were, in duckling terms, almost teenagers.  Then they too vanished.

No more ducklings on our pond.  Just a single baby coot.

This was the baby coot on Good Friday. Now he’s almost adult – long legs, huge feet, and camera-shy.

Last week though, walking along to a friend’s house, I spotted them.  Mrs. Mallard had hatched another brood.  Seven this time.  I wonder whether this little lot will make it?  It seems as if there have to be an awful lot of ducklings put upon this earth even to maintain the population at replacement level.  Both male and female mallards will attack and kill ducklings who are not their own.

Two of the latest ducklings, spotted yesterday evening.

It’s eleven weeks since we first saw those baby ducklings.  Mrs. Mallard is still no nearer to successfully rearing the next generation of mallards to replace her.  In some ways, time has stood still.

This isn’t mum. She was in the reeds, chivvying her babies into safety.

WordPress Photo challenge: Delta.  For this week’s photo challenge, share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.