Title: Muscovies in the Oaks, Part II
created on 26 Jan 18

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Comments on this picture (30):
1. chelydra wrote:
 Where were we? I was saying I'd better do a fresh picture before I continue the story, since I hadn't managed to include and ducks in the trees, nor any trees in the story. Alas, still no ducks in the forest. But anyway...
2. chelydra wrote:
 "and ducks" (above) was supposed to say "any ducks" but if I keep adding corrections, we'll never finish the story. So, let's get on with it.
3. chelydra wrote:
 You could watch ducks every day all spring, summer and fall, and think that Muscovy ducks are no better at flying than Pekin ducks. They're amazing smart by duck standards—by human standards too, probably. But earthbound.
4. chelydra wrote:
 You could watch ducks every snowless day and night in the winter too, without a clue that Muscovy ducks can fly. Like Pekins, and like ethnic New Yorkers, they "talk with their hands a lot—with a great flurry of wing-feathers to emphasize important
5. chelydra wrote:
 ... points. (Muscovies rarely if ever make unimportant points.) But whenever there's a big beautiful snowfall, those Muscovy wings truly come alive. Like B-24 "Liberator" bombers of WW2, they power up, taxi down their runway (along the snow, between the
6. chelydra wrote:
 ...trees in the back yard), and with any luck, they're aloft on the first attempt. Actually, I'm not sure I remember seeing them take off. I don't recall seeing any mass flight to freedom. Generally, what we'd see was just an absence of ducks on the grou
7. chelydra wrote:
 ...ground. (Remember we had dozens of ducks, on less than an acre, so we'd notice right away when there were no ducks.) (Except the four or five white Pekins, who never left, except sometimes into the oven—as noted in Part I. I'm trying not to emb
8. chelydra wrote:
 ...embellish or whitewash any details.) WHERE WERE THEY??!! WHERE COULD THEY BE!!?? we wondered frantically during (or right after) the first big snow after the Muscovies arrived... No, wait, I think a year or two passed before this tradition was launched
9. chelydra wrote:
 . . . because I don't remember it happening until we had a critical mass of ducks... then it was a chain reaction... in fact a run-away chain reaction... (We lived barely a mile as the crow or duck flies from the construction site of the world's most exp
10. chelydra wrote:
 . . . expensive and (allegedly) worst-built nuclear reactor, so we tended to experience things in terms of nuclear meltdowns and china syndromes).
11. chelydra wrote:
 WELL... as you may have surmised from the clues in the title and the story so far, it turned out our Muscovy duck-herd for some reason liked to take off into the treetops whenever it snowed a lot. Like the female Muscovies' circle-dances to celebrate, ch
12. chelydra wrote:
  . . . cheer-lead, or mourn (it was hard to say which) every sex act, this flight into the treetops happened every time it snowed more than an inch or two. Muscovies do not take their traditions lightly. (They're not like Australians. This is Australia Da
13. chelydra wrote:
 ... Day, and I'm not even allowed to sing the celebratory anthem I composed one year ago. No one else here bothers to write OR sing songs about their own country. Imagine that!) Anyway... back to the story...
14. chelydra wrote:
 SO ANYWAY... One spectacularly, dazzlingly, unforgettably beautiful night, just after a deliciously deep snow fell and the clouds parted to reveal the whole universe whirling above...
15. chelydra wrote:
 ... I was trudging around in the deep semi-primeval forest of tall oaks, looking to make sure the ducks were in fact in the treetops, and as I was seeing that indeed they were—but still looking skywards through the latticework of branches and its g
16. chelydra wrote:
 waving tapestry of snow and feathers, into that on-going never-ending big bang that adorns our night skies in places where it's still dark enough to see what's going on and what it all means...
17. chelydra wrote:
 and just at that moment, as my eyes were peeled in their duck-search (finding many Muscovy silhouettes, often several in a row on one big limb), and I gazed skywards in just the right direction (which was due upwards)...
18. chelydra wrote:
 the biggest, brightest shooting star imaginable, multi-colored, flaring out a vast trail of sparkles like in a cartoon rendering, streaks overhead, seemingly just barely clearing the treetops and the ducks
19. chelydra wrote:
 ... which I have tried, not very successfully, to show you in the picture. You'll have to use your imagination to see the ducks silhouetted against the bright night sky. (There may be a couple of duck squeezed into gray canary suits if you look closely.)
20. chelydra wrote:
  I may try another rendering of the woods, or maybe just do a Muscovy duck... Those woods of course, are no more. A tasteful upscale development went in, several years after the Muscovies discovered the neighbor's swimming pool and were sent en masse to t
21. chelydra wrote:
 . . . to the glue factory.... well, supposedly we found a good home for them, and for all the other beasts of our backyard barnyard (except the feral gerbils and bunnies who had apparently died out by then)... but you know how it is...
22. chelydra wrote:
 It's weird to think that two half-grown ducklings grew into a whole little civilization with its own unique cultural traditions, and then was gone... probably never to return in that remarkable form...
23. chelydra wrote:
 But I just found this on the internet, so I guess they live on, sort of... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtuG
BOb0yWY
24. chelydra wrote:
 (It's the poet's birthday tomorrow so if your order a book or two, it'll be a nice gift, an affirmation that it wasn't all a waste)
25. chelydra wrote:
 When I wrote #5, about the B-24, I may have been thinking of watching swans take off from the bay... but it's also probable I saw the Muscovies take off probably a number of times... and incidentally I just searched YouTube for "B-24 Takeoff" and sure nuf
26. chelydra wrote:
 ... sure nuff, it's there and it's not a bad match.
27. indigo wrote:
 Re:#20 Please do a duck. Great story!! :)
28. hjjr wrote:
 good stuff!
29. katidid wrote:
 :-) and yes, a duck would be swell!
30. Normal wrote:
 Good Heavens! They DO roost up in the oaks!



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