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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Balance of Nature

The balance of nature typically refers to the theory that ecological systems are usually in a stable equilibrium.  While we do buy into this theory we recently discovered that it may have another meaning.  On a recent balmy afternoon we spent a couple hours trying to get some good images of quackers on a nearby lake.  After spending way too long playing hide and seek with a couple groups of Male Buffleheads we decided they were also tiring of the game and we decided to head home. 

 As we headed down the road we spotted something down in the creek.  To the casual observer it would appear that we were looking at a one legged male Mallard with a twisted neck.  In reality we were seeing the Mallards version of the balance of nature.  It's quite common for a Mallard to actually sleep while balanced on one leg.  We observed this one doing just that for maybe 15 minutes.  They also will turn their neck sharply so as to tuck their bill into their fluffy back feathers.  This little balance act keeps their one foot and their bill nice and toasty.  This particular Mallard was pulling off this stunt while perched on a rock in the middle of a rushing stream.  They do this so they are safer from predators than on land.  They will often sleep with one eye open to keep an eye out for a predator such as this one is doing. 

Can you imagine sleeping like this?  The 1st picture shows him sleeping.  The 2nd shows him seconds after waking up.  The 3rd picture shows him wide awake and moving about.  Ain't nature something!

1 comment:

Corker2 said...

Even though the common Mallard Duck is one of the most photographed "critters", I always appreciated the great color of the Male at this time of the year. I must admit that they do find rather awkward way's to take a snooze. I'm more than sure I could never do that on just one leg.