Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Five in a Brood

5/18/16 brush pen, white gel pen
This is my favorite time of year to walk around Green Lake because the mama mallards and Canada geese are venturing out with their new broods. The little ones are usually poking around for food within the tall grass and brush near the water’s edge and therefore difficult to see, let alone sketch, from the walking path.

This morning I veered off the path a bit toward one of the piers, where I’ve sometimes seen gaggles of geese slurping up slugs from the grass nearby. I spotted a mama mallard with her five ducklings piled into a heap near the pier’s edge. (I thought about how a human mom would naturally steer her young away from the edge, but ducks are safest there, where they can make a hasty retreat into the water if necessary.) All I had with me on my fitness walk was a red Field Notes, but it was enough to capture them quickly. Mama became alert and a bit nervous when I first approached, but seeing me hardly moving, she relaxed and eventually tucked her bill under her wing for a little doze (though she still kept one eye on me, half open).

5/18/16 brush pen, white gel pen

In the photo, you can barely see the ducklings piled up next to the edge of the pier.


  1. Nice sketches!!! Some of those geese can get very defensive so you have to be careful!

    1. Thanks, Joan! Yeah, I know -- I've been chased away by some mama geese!

      - Tina


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