Duck feet. Bird feet. Several sorts of paws and of course, doggie feet - all quite distinguishable and welcome in my garden....but what did I spy out of the corner of my little eye - oh no! The unmistakable pattern of deer hooves ....those cloven feet trotting right across the snowy expanse impossible to miss as they beelined right up to my most succulent and alluring special green tidbit, the beautiful Italian, not climbing but upright ivy --- Hedera 'Congesta' or 'Erecta' from Jim Grimes, it was in full and sumptuous leaf and now it is bedraggled and half-eaten. Which brings us to the sorry conclusion that the deer wire fence is not yet The Great Wall - there is one more expanse to conquer - so conquer we must because they only need to get in one time when those spring babies start pushing up and poof... there will be nothing for the Garden Conservancy tourers to delight in on May 1and I will be driven to tears, or worse... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ But fortunately, a mood change can be quickly accomplished by following the webbed feet...and rejoicing in the divine Duck Pond of East Hampton. Imagine living next door to this... So, because of our proximity, and as stalwart members of the LVIS (that is, the great and steadfast Ladies Village Improvement Society, keeping East Hampton beautiful and pure since 1895) Nature Trail Committee, we are committed especially on every foul weather day to feed the ever-proliferating ducks, the extremely possessive and territorial swans and our few geese....and various weasely and muskraty creatures get in on the act too... Photo by Fellow Duck Lover Mary Damask
They multiply...they vie for crumbs...they splish and splash. They are divine. I am always rooting for the black sheepish ones who are a little different, the little mini white ones (are they just young or midgets, I can't tell)...and of course, the shy ones who never seem to get close enough to the food before swoosh - in comes a big strapper. Our white Pekin ducks are the exact models for The famous (at least on Long Island) ...Big Duck of Flanders
And life is reduced to one great chorus of Feed MeFeed MeFeed Medown at the Pond.