Category Archives: Wood Ducks

How Big is a Wood Duck?

Wood Ducks are typically shy, elusive creatures of woodland waterways. They are generally less commonly seen than some other types of waterfowl. And for those who have never personally seen one, it’s often hard to tell the size of a wood duck from a photograph. Most such images consist of a single wood duck, a pair, or several in a group. They lack a sense of scale for size comparison.  A field guide will give you the metrics: an average adult wood duck is listed at 18.5 inches in length, with a 30 inch wingspan, and a weight of 1.3 lbs. But that still is not easy visualize.

So I thought I would share some images of wood ducks with some more commonly seen animals, so that you can get a better idea of their size.  However, it may actually just be an excuse to share some images.

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Photographs and Memories: 4 April 2011

Wood Duck

Photographs are moments in time captured on film or digital medium. The viewer sees only the image itself, generally representing a mere fraction of a second in time. The photographer experienced the whole photographic event: all the time and effort involved, any previous unsuccessful attempts, and the beauty, splendor, excitement and anticipation involved in the activity up until that moment of exposure. The result: an image that can trigger memories for the photographer that can’t be conveyed to the viewer. This immersion in the whole experience is one reason why it may be hard for a photographer to be totally objective about his work. It is also the reason why a photographer’s favorite images are sometimes not necessarily his best ones.

A perfect example is the image of the wood duck accompanying this post. I have better images of wood ducks, but this one remains my favorite. To understand why, you have to know the story behind the image. Continue reading »

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Watching Wood Ducks



Over the last two and a half years I’ve spent more than 260 hours observing and photographing the wood ducks on my pond.  On at least 110 different days, spread across all four seasons, I’ve hiked down to my pond for the sole purpose of watching and photographing wood ducks. And I still look forward to each opportunity to spend time with them. It may be hard for many to understand why I am so drawn to them and it is not particularly easy for me to explain. Those that have a love for nature and the outdoors will find it easier. First, the ducks themselves are such beautiful, fascinating creatures with so many interesting behaviors. Second, the wood ducks are close by. We’re neighbors, sharing the same land. I’ve always been keenly interested in the nature around me; much less so in the natural world of more distant areas. That is probably the reason I have never had any desire to go on a photo safari to Africa or some other distant region. Third, and possibly most importantly, time spent in nature can have a calming, refreshing effect on the heart and soul. Stress melts away, the cluttered mind clears. Life slows down for a while. Continue reading »

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Welcome to the first post on my website. It is taking a little time to figure out the workings of WordPress, so please be patient with me. I’ll be adding more images to the galleries and begin posting articles in the near future.

I just returned from the annual Western NC Foto Fest held in Montreat, NC. While I did enjoy the nature photography presentations, I was much more excited about the opportunities to do a little photography in the area. I spent one morning photographing the elk at Cataloochee Cove, about an hour and a half away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On another morning I tried to capture a sunrise image at Pounding Mill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but was shut out by clouds and fog. I also spent one morning and evening photographing the mandarin drakes at Lake Susan in Montreat. I was able to get some decent images of elk, but the best images I obtained were of the mandarin drakes. Two of my favorites are shared with you here. Continue reading »

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