Wood Ducks
From Pond to Sky
March 2005


There was a flurry of activity by the pond (or lake) between the Toftrees golfcourse and the game land. Looking between snow-covered reeds, I saw several ducks swimming in a narrow lane of the first ice-free water of the past few months.

As soon as they became aware of me, they took off. In the course of those seconds, I got some favorite photos, such as the following one. A valuable aspect of a long telephoto lens is that the narrow depth of field allows intervening objects to be rendered almost transparent. In this instance, I feel that the "foreground" reeds add a pleasant touch of mystery, particularly for the female on the right.


Male and female wood ducks taking off

Her large, white eye ring and upraised wing remind me of a Babylonian dragon.

Having cleared the water, the wood ducks concentrated on powerful wing flaps to gain altitude.

Wood ducks gaining altitude

After the ducks decided they were high enough, they went into formation, circled the pond, and flew to a quiet corner somewhere else in Pennsylvania.
Wood ducks flying

Photo note: I used a Pentax *istD, with the SMC 400-600mm reflex lens at the 600mm end for these photos.

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