A duck feather floats by this colorful wood duck.

In recent years I’ve had trouble photographing wood ducks. In brief, they move out of my camera’s focus with great ease, or so it seems to me. That ended yesterday when I was finally able to get close to a wood duck at a Sacramento pond. It was my third day of visiting this spot, so maybe trust had been established between me and this one wood duck.

To me the wood duck looks hand painted.

Here is a little backstory. Ten years ago I went to the Great Swamp, a federal nature preserve in New Jersey, that had a an area set up to attract wood ducks. I huddled in a duck blind, sensing this was going to be a photo fest. Ah, but after two days and no woodies, I left with shots of the common mallard and nothing else. A bust. Yesterday was vindication of sorts. I got the shots finally of what I believe is one of nature’s greatest works in terms of color and design.

What can be said of an old guy who marvels at a photo opp well done? For me taking photos is part of establishing a peaceful balance in life. I could be at the mall, or in a traffic jam, but instead, I choose to engage with the wonders of wildlife–time invested in inner calmness that will be taxed later by the negative forces of everyday living. Peace.

2 Replies to “The Elusive Wood Duck”

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