Meet Harriet


I have a new friend. Her name is Harriet, at least that’s what we call her. I just finished making her lunch – delicious boiled potatoes. No salt, no butter, no sour cream.

She’s a Mallard and has been visiting our front yard for the past several weeks. She scoops up seeds, lots and lots of seeds thrown out of feeders by cardinals, chickadees, wrens, doves, woodpeckers in two sizes, finches, flickers, and just lately, red winged blackbirds.

Harriet has to fight the squirrels for seeds. She stands up for herself and sends them on their way if they intrude. So proud!

Harriet had been missing for two days and we were worried about her. Coyotes roam the conservation area next door and she may be seen as a tasty morsel. But she returned. Joy reigns! Perhaps she was off making babies.

While she was gone I read up on Mallards. Eggs arrive and incubation begins mid-March. She’ll have up to 12 ducklings and those little guys can run, swim, and forage a day after hatching, according to Google. Amazing. We’re hoping that she brings them by for snacks.

Harriet’s Lunch

My Google source mentioned that Mallards like potatoes, so, lunch. She wasn’t thrilled with the closeness required to deliver it and quacked her way down the driveway, considered her options, took to the air. I’m hoping she discovers her lunch tomorrow.


10 Replies to “Meet Harriet”

  1. Harriet will likely be back if she’s enjoying your lovely bird seed and perhaps soon to enjoy the potatoes. Can’t say that I would have thought of potatoes though … lol. Nothing like the internet to get some information.

    1. Internet – not just a source of knitting knowledge and links to excellent yarn dyers!

      I ought to change my blog name to thoughts or writing from the woodlot. I suspect there will be more off topic.

    1. Pretty sure it was squirrels who ate yesterday’s potatoes after Harriet took flight. But today she was back and ate up, fast!

  2. So lovely! I’m sure she’ll be back. We had a feral cat visit a few years ago. We fed it and it came back again & again. We mused about his various injuries and worried that he wouldn’t survive. We couldn’t take him in, as we had 3 of our own. A neighbour, though, took him in and we see “Charlie” often. We are all one in this universe. So lovely to look after each other. Except the squirrels – they are an alien species. Good your Mallard can deal with them. – Lovely post.

    1. I had a huge, yellow, feral cat who’d clearly had a ton of successful battles visit years ago. I fed him and we had conversations. About life on the streets. One day, while gardening, I left the back door open and found this big mess, clearly flea infested but totally in love with me Tom on my couch. I think he wanted a home before he died. Did not see him after that day. Indeed. We are all one, Carol.

  3. Love this new story, Gayle! Reminds me of the summer that I became good friends with a chipmunk. Only because I was a steady source of peanuts in the shell. But the little chipmunk would take the peanuts from my hand and come sit on my lap. It was such a thrill to connect with a “wild” animal.

  4. Interesting that Harriet hasn’t shared her good restaurant with at least “Harry”. When I was three I had a relationship with a grey squirrel and fed it by hand on the back porch. I was sure that bringing it inside was the best thing to do !! NOT SO – that poor squirrel leapt from corner to corner, counter to table and so much landed with a crash on the floor. Took some doing to help it find the back door. My mom just found a photo of my friend the squirrel in an old album. Neither of us could recall what I named it. But the photo brought back some fun memories – being kind to our feathered and furry friends brings joy – until the dishes crash or the fleas start moving !!

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