Monday, July 7, 2008

A Duck at Rest and a Turtle Nest

A couple of weeks ago, while taking Benny for a walk, we happened upon something which was lying on the nearby creek shore.

It was one of those rare occasions when Frank actually spotted it before Benny, who was preoccupied with drinking water or watching a fish wind its way down the creek.

The town had recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and one of their events was a rubber duck race. Numbers were assigned ticket-buyers, and if it matched the number on the bottom of the winning ducks, the participants could claim their prizes.

Clearly, this was one of those ducks which had never made its way to the finish line. Frank picked it up.

He considered keeping it and adding it to the growing collection of unusual items he finds while walking with Benny. After a bit of thought, he decided that the duck was meant to have a chance to find its way out to nearby Lake Ontario. He leaned back while raising the duck in his hand and pitched it toward the creek, releasing it back into the water. The duck landed with a splash...

.. right on its face.

OK so not only was it not going to proudly float its way down to the lake, eventually finding its way to and along the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic, to find fortune and fame, it wasn't going to get any further than where it landed because..

Benny heard it touch down and was quickly on his way to retrieve it.

Benny walked most of the way back home holding his prize in his mouth, pretty much the same way that you see it here.

As we neared home, we met up with a man who commented on the duck, indicating that the group responsible for the duck derby loses a number of them each year, and would appreciate having found ducks returned to them. His relative worked for that particular committee, so he offered to return the duck to him for us. Frank and I agreed, but if you've ever tried to persuade a Jack Russell Terrier to give you what he has in his mouth, you'll understand that it took some time and distraction.

A good stick usually does the trick. This photo was taken another time but it's typical of Benny's ADD nature to drop whatever he's doing for the next adventure.

Later that day, we drove to a different part of town, down by the shores of Lake Ontario - without Benny this time.

We stopped to look out over the water for a few minutes.

Wild flowers grow along the shore.

One of the homes had an interesting driftwood ornament adorning their fence.

While driving back home, Frank noticed several of these cages which appeared close to the road in a few spots. We wondered what they were about, so we stopped to investigate.

The signs told the story. They were meant to protect turtle nests from being dug up by raccoons or skunks.

Some were successful but some were not. Here you can see the remains of turtle eggs which had been broken by a predator. Hopefully the rest will remain intact.

Back home in the evening, the sun set beautifully at the end of a lovely day.


Tricia said...

It sounds like a lovely day, some may even say it was "just ducky". Your sun set photo is beautiful.

the Bag Lady said...

Dogs and duckies and turtles. Sounds like a great day! Wonderful photos, Hil. Don't know what's going on with my computer, but it took almost as long as it used to with dial-up for them to load this time. Good thing I'm a patient person. Oh, and it helped to know they would be worth the wait!

Jennifer S said...

Guess there was a good reason that poor little duck didn't win the race.

Your photos are amazing. I especially love the one of the tree at the edge of the lake. Beautiful.

Reb said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day. I like the idea of the cages to protect the turtles eggs. Love the tree by the lake and the sunset photos, they are fabulous ducky! ;)

R. said...

well very nice story! we've got 3 big dogs and anything they find interesting like a rubber duck can pretty much be written off!!

Kappa no He said...

I was going to ask how much money Benny (ahem! Frank) won! Benny is so photogenic. I just can't get over it.

Chi said...

You're photos are fantastic and Bennie's got some mad modeling skills.

I hope a loose cat doesn't find the the turtle deli.

Seamus said...

Hmmmm, I think that duck was sandbagging and just wanted a free ride home! ;)
Sounds like a wonderful outing!

Leah J. Utas said...

Love the sunset photo. Well done.
Benny is quite the determined dog and so very happy looking.

gary rith said...

turtle nests!!!! baby turtles!!!!

Louise said...

What a fun, interesting and beautiful day with the perfect sunset to end it all.

Hilary said...

• Welcome, Tricia and thanks! Your "just ducky" pun quacked me up! ;)

• Thanks, Baggie. I might be to blame for that. I've been saving my photos as larger files lately (the last few posts) so that when you click on each image, there's a significantly bigger photo to see. My blog page keeps five posts running on the main page. As more posts have those larger images, it's probably costing you loading time.

I'm toying with changing the blog so that I can post larger images and resizing them so that they don't link to a larger one than that. But not yet. Sorry for the slow loading time, but thanks for waiting. :)

• Thank you, Jennifer. I can pretty much guess that he won't win it next year either. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, Reb. It was a lovely day for sure. :)

• Thanks, Rabin. I don't think Benny knew quite what to make of this treasure, but he sure does know how to destroy other toys. It's amazing how much stuffing gets packed into one plush animal. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Hey, Terrie. Frank would have come in dead last with that little duck, but he sure hit the jack(russell-terrier)pot with Benny. He's photogenic, yes, when he holds still long enough. :)

• Thanks, Christopha. I don't think they're too worried about cats. It's the raccoons and skunks that tend to dig for them. Not ALL cats are evil! ;)

• Thanks you, Seamus. He sure got his free ride. I wonder if we'll see him again next year. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Leah. Yeah he's truly a happy dog, unless he thinks that Frank is going somewhere without him. Male bonding, and all that. ;)

• Hi, Gary. Yes!!!! Eventually!!!! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Louise. :)

Frank Baron said...

Hil, many of your posts have the uncanny knack of making me feel like part of the story!

It's a gift. ;)

Love that last shot. :)

Indrani said...

All this in one walk?! Amazing shots you have got in that one trip. Liked the sunset shot very much.

Daryl said...

another glorious day shared .. I love that duckie with his shades ... and I adore Bennie ... what an amazing pup ... and the pix .. wonderful...


Suldog said...

You have definitely become one of my favorite places to stop by each day. Always interesting. Thanks for the great entertainment!

Tink said...

I'm a little miffed that the guy persuaded you out of your rescued duck. I mean seriously, how much could they cost in bulk? Oh well. It still made for a cool story and pictures. :D

SandraRee said...

Hi Hilary, I absolutely love your photography. Every shot is great! And Benny is soooo cute. :)

Shammickite said...

Another interesting account of a Benny adventure, beautifully illustrated by your pictures. That Benny, he's a tough little customer isn't he?
Nice to know the duck went back to his home, ready to brave the waves another year. I've heard a lot about those rubber duckie races, but have never participated, but I drove past one in full flow in Newfoundland a couple of years ago! Quite a sight... hundreds of yellow duckies bobbing along.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your day. Great photos! (and a cute JRT!)

Anonymous said...

Hilary, what great photography--especially the one at day's end!

photowannabe said...

I adore this adventure. You have such a way with words and the perfect pictures for them. Love the rubber ducky.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

All these shots were so lovely Hilary but the one of Benny carring his prized duck made me MELT! Oh how cute.

Cedar said...

Your blog is like a nice cup of tea before bed for me. I like to look at the pictures and read the stories that go with them. It is calming and soothing.

Thanks for sharing. I think I am going to make you my nightly cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

Another lovely series of photos!

Although I now have the song "Benny and the Jets" stuck in my head, inspired by reading about Benny and the Duck, and I'm afraid I have to blame you.

Bennnnny! Bennnny! Bennnnyy! Benny and the Duuuuuck...

Hilary said...

* Thanks, Frank. And a curse? ;)

* Thank you, Indrani. It wasn't all on one walk, but within one day. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks so much for your always-kind words, Daryl. :)

* Thanks very much, Sully. That means a lot to me but don't hold me to daily posts! Make it every few days.. kinda.. sorta.. ish. ;)

* Thanks, Tink. I guess they'd just rather keep all of their ducks in a row. ;) I'd kind of like to know the stories behind the ones that are found long after the event.They should each have a URL and email address on them. ;)

* Thanks so much for your very kind words, Sandra. Benny is a heart-winner for sure! :)

* Thanks very much, ex-S. Yes Benny is a real tough nut.. more nut than anything. :) The rubber duck races are fun. They hold one each year in my town too - down the Credit River. There are a few very decent prizes and the money raised goes to charity. Fun stuff all around. Thanks for dropping by. :)

* Thanks Kcinnova - much appreciated. :)

* So nice to see you here, Chicago Mary. Thanks very much for your kind words. :)

* Thanks kindly, Photowannabe. That means a lot to me. :)

* Thank you, Mammageek. He's a cute little stinker, eh? He tends to collect smiles and "awwww"s on most walks - and the occasional "ew" when he rolls in something dead. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks kindly, Cedar. What a lovely thing to say. You'll be disappointed most nights though. I only tend to post about once a week.. or just under. I don't know how daily bloggers do it. Thanks so much for that warm sentiment though. :)

* Thanks, Crabby. Sorry about the song, but don't blame me! It's Reb's fault. She started it over at Frank's blog. ;)

Janet said...

Benny is absolutely adorable! Your shots are gorgeous too, especially the wild flowers one :-)

Russell said...

Well, here it is, Wednesday already and I am just seeing this great post!!

I laughed at the part where you mentioned how hard it is to get something out of Benny's mouth! I can relate to that!! But, yes, often an exchange works out good!

Beautiful country and I always love to look at your photos. I liked the driftwood - always fun to see things like that and to wonder if the owner has the same impression of it as you do!

Take care.

Jo said...

Hilary, what gorgeous pictures. I love swimming, and that water looks so inviting, I could dive right in. I'll bring my own rubber duckie. :-)

Jo said...

Always lovely photos, but I do love the ones of Benny best--he just tickles me! Such a fun ducky story, Hil...Frank & Benny are so kind to give up their treasures LOL

Sounds like a great day :)

Sandi McBride said...

What a wonderful day you've had, and the little duck, too! I'd have brought it home with me, fact have 3 little rubber ducks who live in Red Robin plant from all harm...great post!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Your pictures are always very inspirational. Thank you for sharing!! I'm glad the duck found a good home! LOL!

K.C. said...

What fun! I love Benny's ADD. Have never heard that... Looks like you had a really fun time! Kayce

Hilary said...

* Thanks very much for your kind words, Janet and for the visit. Please come back soon. :)

* Thanks so much, Russell. I would guess that the people with the driftwood dolphin see it pretty much the same way. I'm also guessing that Bailey is another tenacious pup? Thanks always for stopping by. :)

* You're quite right about how inviting the lake looks and quite wise to bring your own rubber duckie. Benny doesn't share very well. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks muchly, Jo. He's a character, for sure, and keeps life interesting. :)

* Thanks, Sandi. It's the 2nd rubber duck that Frank has found. The last one was set free. But yes, we would have kept it had the guy not happened to comment on it. Cool that you have a few, yourself. :)

* Thanks, Cheffi. It's good to know that the duck was reunited with its flock. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

* Thanks, Kayce. It describes him aptly. ;)

steviewren said...

You should consider writing a kids book about Benny and his adventures. You could use his pictures as illustrations. He has so much personality, it wouldn't be hard.

CC said...

A blog friend of mine in England had this amazing story last year about a cargo ship full of rubber duckies capsizing in the early 90's and thus releasing the rubber duckies into the wilds of the ocean. That was 17 years ago. Duckies are STILL washing up all over the world. Scientists have used it to study ocean currents among other things.

CC said...

My dog Reagan is the same way as Benny. We can't even play catch with him because he refuses to relinquish the ball/frisbee/stick.....whatever.

CC said...

Oh, and we have our own form of turtle rescue. We've stopped and retrieved turtles from the street many times and then released them into one of the bayous circling our house.

Houston=Bayou City

There's no shortage of turtles or snakes around here!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That sunset photo is spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos as always!

Hilary said...

• Steviewren, if I wrote a book about Benny's trip to the doctor, I could call it "Benny and the Vet" just to keep that song alive in Crabby's brain. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

• EWBL, that's quite an amazing journey for the little yellow quackers. It would be neat to find one of those. Reagan must have one huge stash of toys somewhere. Happening upon, and rescuing turtles would be cool - snakes, not so much. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Jenn. And thanks too for your thoughtful award.. much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Mark. :)

Cath said...

Well at least that lovely man saved you from having a yellow duck on your piano. I mean, a yellow duck. With sunglasses. Although I was laughing at you saying have you ever tried to get a prize from the mouth of a jack russell....! Yes, I have, especially rubber or squeaky toys, and I know exactly what you mean.

Great narrative and photos again. Loved the last shot. Beautiful.

rebecca said...

ducks and doggies and turtles, oh my! poor bennie, he looked so happy... :(

nice walk-through to what seemed a lovely day. lovely pictures...favor the ones with benny though! i'll take him over a nice sunset any day of the week.... ;)

Shammickite said...

Hilary: I added a bit more and a video to my Lifeboats post, it might give you a giggle!

Hilary said...

• Cath! Leave it to you to find the really GOOD thing about relinquishing that duck! I actually already have a duck on the piano. It's the one on the left-hand side of my blog header. I'm glaring at you, Frank! ;)

Thanks for your kind words, Cath. :)

• Thanks, Rebecca. The good thing about ADD doggies is that they're so easily distracted, and therefore forget very quickly about things like rubber duckies. There are days when we'd gladly trade him in for a sunset, so we might just be able to arrange something. ;)

• I'll go check that out, ex-S!

Kerri Farley said...

FABULOUS post Hilary! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that last shot! WOW!

Hilary said...

THANKS, THANKS, THANKS, Kerri! Much appreciated. :)

Anonymous said...

A great story, and I absolutely LOVE that last photo!

Hilary said...

Thanks very much, Addhumorandfaith. :)

SandyCarlson said...

Thank you for sharing this link. I will make reference to it.

Just when I thought I was ready to pack up and move on to greener pastures well south of here, the turtles came out--and didn't cross the road. (And my students asked me to stick around because they love turtles, too.)

Thank you.