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Mama Duck

Good morning everyone and Happy Mother’s Day to all you out there. Well it has been a busy week in our windjammer world. We launched the schooner from the railway on Friday morning after five long days and evenings dodging the rain. Last year we turned the boat around in 23 hours and this year was just the opposite. The crew were absolutely inspirational in their energy and devotion to ‚Äúgittin‚Äô ‚Äòer done.‚Äù I for one am very glad to be associated with such a fine group of individuals. Yesterday we sanded bulkwarks in the morning and rigged in the afternoon, running out the jibboom and raising a topmast. They have earned a well-deserved day off.

As we were leaving the schooner a mother duck was sitting in the seaweed right next to our dock. Sawyer, not one to miss a great photographic opportunity, took several pictures up close and personal. It took me a few minutes but soon we realized that this was the same mother that had been swimming by with a raft of chicks in tow. (We have a “don’t count” policy to avoid future heartbreak.) And there she was sitting on her chicks warming and protecting them from the world. There was a wonderful story on NPR yesterday about how animals in the wild can be such wonderful mothers. It was just a little uncanny that we should meet this hen after hearing that story.

Curious Sawyer crept right up to her with camera in hand and she would fluff her tail feathers for all they were worth but she wouldn’t budge off those chicks. Yeah for Moms everywhere who do the same for their children everyday and for far longer than a hen takes care of her chicks. In a few months time the chicks will feed and fend for themselves and join the “herd” that patrols Camden Harbor entertaining summer visitors. We all have to do something for a living and I can think of nothing finer than giving the joy of living to everyone we meet. Witness the absolute delight of a young child wading knee deep at the beach throwing bread crusts to the ducks. Kind of gives you a new take on things, doesn’t it? Mothers… raising their chicks…who go on to make world a better place… everyday, everywhere, all the world over. Thanks Mom!

Have a great Mothers Day. Be well Do good.

Anyone read Maine author Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings?” lately? A tale of courage and perseverance and how wonderful it can be for everyone when people give the rest of nature a helping hand.

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