Members of some duck families, such as those of the goldeneyes and mergansers, often display elaborate courtship rituals. In the Pacific Northwest, March is the best time to see this, and we were lucky enough to have the buffleheads and goldeneyes performing in the bay in front of the house. It was quite a show, although one really needed binoculars to see it well.
The male behaviors include: pumping (bobbing their heads up and down), ritual bill-drinking, wing-flapping, and leg-stretching, all designed to entice the female for mounting – an event which typically lasts no more than 10 seconds. He then performs the most amusing behavior of all, known as “PC (post-coital) steaming,” where he swims rapidly around, displaying his raised crest, convinced at that moment that he is indeed king of the world.
Many thanks to Tara and Rebecca for “Juicing 101.” I now have a new juicing machine and a refrigerator full of vegetables and fruits in quantities I never dreamed imaginable. Kevin is a little slow to enthuse, but I am certainly enjoying a new burst of creativity in concocting different combinations of fruit/veggie flavors.
Lastly, a picture of the finished twin quilt on which I got a marvelous head start at the retreat by piecing all 28 blocks. Labeled “Chutney” because of the combination of fruit “Cherry” fabric and vegetable “Purple Onion” fabric, I think it is a fitting cap to a weekend full of creative camaraderie filled with healthy edibles and drinkables. Now onto Chutney #2, its matching pair!