A female wood duck surveys her domain deep in the flooded timber.
Wood ducks return each spring to the back waters of the Mississippi River. The melting snow and high river levels create many large temporary ponds in low areas. These are perfect for raising a brood of ducklings. Hiking back in there is difficult. The ducks are wary and easily frightened. But sitting long enough will allow them to go about their business. Still, they remain illusive despite sitting patiently for over an hour. An hour spent listening to song birds sing their songs and the deer grazing through the grassy areas. The silence is broken as the underbrush snap. Deer flee, flocks of ducks scream to flight heading toward the open river. The cause, two agents from Mosquito Control dumping pellets into the overflow ponds. Civilization once again interrupts the moment.