We don’t have many mallards that I’ve seen — just a lone one at a lake in our neighborhood and the occasional one I see in Mount Dora — so I can’t comment authoritatively on the male stupidity in the breed. I can say that have gorgeous colors and have always been quiet in my presence. They also seem to be more solitary — I usually see lone mallards. The black bellied whistling ducks that are common in my neighborhood are loud bullies, always fighting with one another, but watching them fly in a group above our lake is breathtaking as well as the only time they aren’t battling with one another. They are also very attractive ducks, and I love that they sit in trees like birds. The Muscovies (Tobies to Ben!) are polite, quiet, regal, but not as pretty. They fly low and clumsily but float like royalty on the water. They have tight family units and are almost always seen in pairs or with babies/adolescent offspring. They defend their territory but are not loud and raucous. The whistling ducks always defer to the Tobies even though their numbers are far greater. This is all I know about ducks. What I do know is they make me happy and I enjoy photographing them.

I do miss the loons that were on lakes in Maine when I lived there as a teenager. The sound they make is chilling and haunting — not to be forgotten. I remember them as loners and mostly quiet except for their occasional eerie call. They are beautiful in a muted sort of way. I wish we had loons in Florida.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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