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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Friday, July 3, 2009

A family of what?

The fog yesterday lifted enough, and for long enough, to reveal this year's armada of ducks patrolling our waters. The party in search of enemy minnows must be a blended family of some sort, for half a dozen adults were neatly and completely surrounded by at least 20 ducklings. They sailed north to south for a while, the young ones leading and diving. Bringing up the rear, at least a hundred yards in the rear, were several other adults, diving, popping up, fending off a gull.

The reason for the mass grouping must be protection of some sort. The adults in the middle of the ducklings must be the mothers, offering moral guidance in the matters at hand. The reason ducklings were leading the charge is that they are now half-grown teenagers, with definite opinions. The adults trailing behind must be the fathers, content just to hang around the local clam bar and kibbitz.

In due course, the armada returned south to north just as the fog swallowed them up again. I could no longer see any particular organization to the fleet. The fog is probably their friend, where they feel safe, and casual. But after five days of it, I'm imputing that it was nice for a while to feel purposeful again. Make way!

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