Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The ducklings that fall from the sky

These Australian Wood Duck ducklings look like they have only just come from the nest. Here a male Australian Wood Duck has the care of five ducklings.

The female makes a nest high in a tree - when she is ready to leave, she flies to the ground, and the babies jump - sometimes 20 meters (60'). 

 I am always concerned in situations where I blunder into a situation and may disturb the balance. I returned to the crossing after posting these pictures and found both parents with 9 ducklings on the water a little down stream.

The ducklings fall a little faster than a feather, but not much, and they bounce.  

This little crossing is easily missed. There is a rush of water here. In flood, the waters swirl into whirlpools.

Here the Yuin Trace crosses the Yandyguinula, an ancient river crossing. Here the Yuin defended their lands to the east from those that come by night. Explorers and settlers crossed here, filling their flasks with crystal clear water. A little downstream, the flat of an riverine gold field abandoned almost as soon as it was opened leaving behind small flecks of fools gold in their wake. A small field where pumpkins and other vines were grown next to a hearth from a stead, abandoned because of accident. 

Despite this, it has always been a quiet place. Home to generations of ducklings that fall from the sky, beyond counting.

Peter Quinton
March 2015

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