Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring Means Cottonwoods and Wood Ducks

Spring means alot of things, but in this city block I live in, one of the meanings is Cottonwood seeds, fluffy and over-abundant. They started blowing about 2 days ago, earlier than last year, like many things this Spring in Minneapolis. They spew so abundantly that they produce actual drifts of fluff. And they make it tough to be outside after mid-morning, since they have an almost willful drive to lodge in an eye.

On a more fun note, yesterday I saw a hen Wood Duck cross busy Penn Ave. with possibly 9 ducklings following her into my neighbor's yard, which, like mine is surrounded by a chain link fence. After alerting the neighbors to the wildlife event, we went over and watched the cadre of hatchlings waddle around after their mother for a few minutes. But we had them corralled into the side yard of the house with escape only back into the busy street or through (over) the fence into the backyard. We didn't want to see carnage with them attempting their way back across the busy street, so I pushed Mama forward into the fence. The chicks easily plopped their way through the chain links into the backyard, but the hen looked as though she would strangle herself as she first tried to also go THROUGH the chainlink fence ! I yelled "No!" to her numerous times as I also continued to pressure her in the direction of her chicks. She must have understood me, because she fluttered her wings and lifted herself up over the fence to the happy reunion with the chicks. Then they kind of disappeared as we ignored them for a few minutes and walked around the other side of the house. When we got into the backyard they had disappeared, and we can only hope they made their way to Theodore Wirth Park, about 8 blocks to the west of our yards. It was fun to see waterfowl that wasn't either Canada Geese or Mallard Ducks.


  1. Same here with the Cottonwood trees. Some years it covers everything. I have notice a bit of fluff the last few days but with all the rain it has not been flying around much.
    Ducks are cool...

  2. Reminds me of the one time when I was a kid, geese and goslings came waddlign across four lanes of Highway 5 in Eden Prairie, and traffic both ways stopped for half a minute or so to let them cross from one catch pond to another. It was amazing, and shortly after I moved north from OK. MN had so much nature, and everyone seemed to have so much respect for it.

    So you live by Theodore Wirth? I went to school at Breck (though I ain't snooty, I sweat, much).