And, Now, For A Moment Of Terminal Cuteness
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I truly love to take photographs of invertebrates and reptiles. But, I’m not just writing for my own pleasure and it’s good to vary the subjects as much as possible. And, it’s a bonus if something that I photograph is not only a bit different but warm and cuddly as well.
This morning I went over to Sweetwater Wetlands right at sunrise and strolled around among the ponds. It didn’t take me very long before I ran across a female Mallard and her very young offspring.
The little ducks are, of course, almost unbearably cute and I smiled as I watched the proud mother supervise her brood. I was interested also, in the little ones’ instinctive need to be close to their siblings. It struck me that these hatchlings are probably hard wired to stay as close to their brood mates as possible. It makes it easier for their mother to supervise them of course. Some species of birds, like many songbirds and raptors, are born blind and helpless, and totally dependent on their parents for survival. Not so with these little ducklings. They are able to swim from the moment of birth and they are remarkably strong little swimmers, indeed.
For a brief moment, a trio of the youngsters separated from the fourth duckling and I was able to photograph them together. I’m tempted to name these three “Huey, Dewey, and Louie,” but will refrain from doing so.
Photos taken with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO+1.4X Extender, ISO 640, aperture preferred setting, f7.1 @ 1/200 (camera braced against railing for stability).