I’m about one day away from going completely nuts due to not having Internet access from my main computer. This is suppose to be resolved on Tuesday when the new satellite dish is installed. Until then, I am forced to use my wife’s computer which has to be the crappiest Dell (Studio XPS) I’ve ever used. Not only is this ridiculously hot thanks to the bad engineering design to have the lid close off the back vent when the lid is open, but the scratch pad mouse will float the cursor randomly if you just wave your thumbs over it.
I do need to persevere though and get through the vacation pictures. This particular set is essentially a set of ducks of which I have been unable to locate in any of my three bird field guides. This is likely due to being females and for some reason a majority of the guides will show a male specimen and then simply describe the female version. It may just be me, but I find this a very frustrating approach for identifying birds. Usually I can luck out and snap a male with the female which allows me to simply verify the image with the text for the male, but without a starting point, you are basically trying to wade through every description. After going through this process a couple of times, I have given up and will simply provide the images in hopes someone out there can help me out.
But first, here is one I could actually identify due to how common it is where I live. We walked up to Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Forest. Unfortunately, the trail is actually uphill the entire way which did not win me any points with my wife. I think she was just about ready to beat me over the head with the tripod when we finally reached the destination. One of the first things we saw coming up to the lake was:
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a mallard with its head in the water, but the interesting thing was how long he maintained this position. He would literally do a beak stand in the water for over a minute before bringing his head back up. 5 seconds of rest and he would go right back to that position. It seemed like some kind of inside duck joke on visitors (or an inside joke between Linda and I if she won the lottery which will remain a secret). This went on for the entire time we were at the lake. Still intrigued as to the reason, I happened to pan to the right a little and it all came crystal clear.
The dude was just showing off for the ladies. This is probably the duck equivalent to Val Kilmer doing stupid muscle poses during a sand volleyball game (except Val was with all males by the way). A quick funny story. On the way back down, I saw a small little snake dart into some rocks from the side of the path. Knowing Linda is deathly afraid of them, I calmly mentioned she should go ahead of me (while I blocked vision from the snake). She somehow put two and two together and started freaking out which included grabbing my shirt and literally ripping it to pieces. Next thing I know, one of my favorite shirts now has its sleeve seam completely ruined. Let that be a lesson to myself – next time, she’s going to have wished she hadn’t stepped on one and I’m keeping her hands off my clothes.
Since there a few unknown duck shots, I’ll put them after the jump. Again, if you recognize any of them, please drop a comment.