Ducks blowing in the wind

One day, about ten years ago, we were having a strong southerly fetch with small tornadoes popping out of the stormy front, so Julia and I were keeping an eye out the windows, watching wall clouds form and unform over our heads. Then, suddenly, there were these two ducks flying south, coming up over the houses across the street. They flew up into the air and beat their wings against the strong wind, not making any ground at all, and then finally, fell back out of our view. I’d seen these ducks before. By day they foraged to the north on the Metronics property, but roosted to the south, behind our house, on Rice Creek. Well, maybe not these exact ducks but the ducks in general that lived in these parts. So I didn’t think much of it.

But then, suddenly, the ducks appeared again in our view, rising above the rooftops from the back yards across the street, plowing into the wind, trying hard to drive forward with their wings beating, but making no ground whatsoever, but rather hovering in place with the strength and speed of the wind perfectly matching their flying effort. And, once again, they dropped out of sight.

This happened a total of about four or five times, then stopped, and Julia and I continued to marvel at the near-tornadoes forming constantly over head. Then we heard the quacking. Tired of flying nowhere, the ducks were now coming out of the neighbors yard on foot, they crossed the street on foot, passed by our house, and followed the lawn down to the play ground then into the treeline where they disappeared into the woods.

Which is better than I can say for these ducks:

Comments

  1. #1 Left_Wing_Fox
    December 7, 2010

    I close my eyes
    Only for a moment and the ducks are gone
    All those ducks
    Tumble by my eyes like fuzzy yellow leaves

    Ducks in the wind!
    All I see are ducks in the wind…

  2. #2 DDeden
    December 7, 2010

    TOOOO cute!

    That’s why Bucky Fuller (Buckyball, geodesic dome) switched his dolphin-like teardrop Dymaxion Car form to a horseshoe crab form, much better against cross currents. The dolphin shape was superaerodynamic but was impossible to steer when the winds blew strongly sideways. (Lloyd Seidens’ book Buckminster Fullers’ Universe)

  3. #3 rob
    December 7, 2010

    @Left_Wing_Fox: lol.

  4. #4 Jim Thomerson
    December 8, 2010

    I’ve been impressed by watching butterflies blithely flying upwind into fairly strong winds. Strong at least from a butterfly’s perspective, I would think.

  5. #5 Larry Jordan
    December 19, 2010

    Birds are amazing creatures. Funny that they decided to walk around the house, probably after being exhausted trying to fly over. The video was hilarious, once I found that, in the end, they were all OK.

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