Saturday, July 13, 2013


by Lynnda

A few days ago, I took some friends from out of town on a tour of the Seattle Japanese Garden.  I was surprised by the sign at the entrance, warning visitors that a mama raccoon and 3 babies have been strolling in the garden.  It asked that, if you see the raccoons, retreat and don't annoy them.  As much as I wanted to not encounter them, I tried to subtly look behind bushes, but I didn't see them!

The day was delightful, cloudy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon when we were strolling through the garden.  This time of year, the garden displays so many shades of green.  The vibrant spring blooms are mostly memories and the autumn golds, oranges and browns are still weeks away.

Mama and babies, SJG  Photo by Lynnda
As we were watching brilliantly orange koi lazily swimming near the wisteria, we noticed a family of ducks, a female and 4 very new babies.  They were swimming around the lily pads, and pop!, the ducklings weren't large enough to swim through the pads, and instead, hopped up and waddled quickly over and on to the next open patch of water. They were so quick that I couldn't catch it on film. 

As the ducks continued along the eastern shore, one stopped to explore something near a large rock.  Mama turned her head and scolded the dawdler.  The tiny duckling understood what Mama was saying, and he took off so quickly that he passed the family at full throttle.  His speed and the way he propelled himself in the water reminded me of cartoons of the Road Runner, dust flying behind him.  Instead of dust, a spray of water followed this tiny one.

Under the dobashi    Photo by Lynnda

The family scooted under the bridge and continued their journey south.  Near the rocky peninsula, Mama began her bottoms up, in search of food.  Or maybe, she was teaching the ducklings that it was the proper way to fish.  A few of the ducklings tried to imitate Mama and their attempts were quite humorous.

Add Lunch time   Photo by Lynnda

As we strolled past the ginko trees and looked back for a last duck sighting, the family was heading north and Mama was ever alert keeping her very energetic ducklings close by. 

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