Log in

No account? Create an account
Lessons from nature* - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Lessons from nature* [May. 11th, 2004|10:16 pm]
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Yesterday evening I decided to do my final review of my Property outline while sitting on the swing in the back yard. I was about halfway through it when two mallard ducks, a male and a female, appeared over the garage roof and dropped into the grass. They were clearly in the middle of a mating ritual, and continued the dance unconcerned by my presence. The female was attempting to present to the male for mating, but he was focused on the dance.

A few moments later a second mallard male flew into the yard. Without hesitation he leapt upon the clearly unwilling female, clamped his beak onto the back of her neck and raped her. She attempted escape to no avail.

Only when the dastardly deed was all but finished did our dashing hero even seem to realize what was going on and make an attempt at disengaging the interloper.

Immediately upon being freed from the grip of Mr. Quickie, the female tried once again to get the drake of her dreams to mate with her (it's not unusual for ducks to be fertilized by more than one drake). She went back to mating behavior and practically threw herself at her man. Alas, he was far too interested in the dance and the moment passed. Eventually she got bored, and afer a while he gave up the dance, and eventually they flew away, together but not mated. He will probably stay by her and help her raise the young of the lethario, all because he let opportunity go by.

I was reminded of another encounter with ducks, this time along the Koyukuk River in Alaska, wild river we were floating in canoes. During the course of the week we were there we saw no signs of human life other than the one other party of canoists we passed. No power lines, no bridges, no buildings.

Two mother ducks. When ducklings are little and defenseless, a mother duck will distract predators by pretending to be wounded and leading the threat away from her babies with a great show of distress, then fly back to the young. The first mother duck we encountered led us a long way down river, gabbling and fretting, her allegedly broken wing splashing pathetically. The second got us just a few dozen yards downstream and then returned to her babies.

Momma One had two surviving ducklings. Momma Two had about a dozen. Greta Garbo hystrionics were impressive, but left the babies exposed to whatever else might be on the prowl.

Sometimes a good show is all fluff and no substance. Don't let the moment pass while you're getting ready for it. I can't go out/look for a better job/dump my loser boyfriend/go back to school/move out of the house until I make more money/lose wieght/work through my issues/find someone else/blahblahblahblah. If you don't reach out for the brass ring, if you don't take chances, don't be surprised when someone else swoops in and takes them instead. Don't get so caught up in the preparation that you lose track of what you're preparing for.

Life doesn't wait for you.

*Because calling it "DUCK RAPE!!!" would be tacky.

[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-05-12 02:31 am (UTC)
Me, I woulda called it "Duck Back The Night." But that's me.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: klig
2004-05-12 02:38 am (UTC)
Drake back the night?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-05-12 02:39 am (UTC)
Ooo. You win.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2004-05-12 03:00 am (UTC)
That's somehow bizarre... Do ducks get emotional scars? Did she go home and have trouble opening up to her "husband"?

Duck is the last word I usually associate with Rape.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: klig
2004-05-12 06:37 am (UTC)
Mallard ducks raping each other is actualyl a bit of a cliche in some scientific circles. It's the example that always gets trotted out when someone wants to prove that humans aren't the only animals that engage in rape.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ldy
2004-05-12 03:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for the reminder :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: absoleil
2004-05-12 03:30 am (UTC)
Hi, I've stumbled onto your journal via someone else's and really enjoyed reading - it's inspiring; I wondered how your sister is doing, thought about how your garden looks like, all in the space of 1 hour or so.

I hope you don't mind, I've added you as a friend.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-12 03:34 am (UTC)
Not at all! Glad to have you. Thank you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: ethangilchrist
2004-05-12 03:30 am (UTC)
Thank you. I was worried about taking on a website creation project that while potentially lucrative could amount to naught. I realize now that either way I'll end up a better person for the experience and regardless it'll look good on my resume! :) Either way I'm going for it. This was just one more sign that I should at least give it my best shot.

Once again...

Thank you.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dakiwiboid
2004-05-12 03:56 am (UTC)

However, second chances do exist

There may well be another dance. I don't think ducks dance only once. They may settle on another patch of grass and dance again, and this time, he may come through, and she'll have the drake of her dreams. Just "going for it" isn't always the right thing to do, either. Some of the greatest joys of my life have come from second chances and the greatest griefs from things I just jumped at.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: scarletdemon
2004-05-12 08:59 am (UTC)
I think that first male may have been her "gay best friend".
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-12 11:29 am (UTC)
You crack me up, woman!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: call_me_harmony
2004-05-12 09:23 am (UTC)
Thanks sometimes I need to be reminded to take the leap.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: elmundobueno
2004-05-12 12:43 pm (UTC)
If you don't reach out for the brass ring, if you don't take chances, don't be surprised when someone else swoops in and takes them instead. Don't get so caught up in the preparation that you lose track of what you're preparing for.

Those are very wise words, and they're catching my attention big time, due to various things going on in my life right now. I'm pretty afraid of spending so much time in my own preparations that I'm going to miss what I'm heading for.

So...thanks. Very timely post for me. I just wish I knew how to get from point a to point z quickly enough without screwing everything up by being too hasty. Delicate balance, and all.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-12 12:59 pm (UTC)
It is a delicate balance between "Ready, Fire, AIM!" and "Ready...ready...ready........."
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jfargo
2004-05-12 04:27 pm (UTC)
I had to read this twice. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)