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December 17, 2016

Thread below the Gardening Thread: Duck Edition [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Check your privilege with CBD's NYT post below

1994-wood-duck.jpg

California Duck Stamp Art
Wood ducks, Richard Clifton, 1994

This week, the Chicago Boyz* linked a piece from GE entitled The California Duck Must Die (But It's Not What You Think).


They are referring to the duck profile on a graph of daily energy usage in California. Energy use peaks in the morning and evening - not during the day when solar energy is being produced by all those solar arrays being placed on rooftops, parking lots and farmland. Somehow, the folks spending tax dollars to subsidize all these solar arrays have kind of downplayed the duck profile issue.

Mike Unum, a senior product manager with GE Grid Solutions . . . says that as people install more solar panels, the problem is only going to get worse. . . .

As more third parties move into the power space, expect to see more creative solutions for problems like the ones California's energy generators are currently facing. "The rules haven't been defined yet," says Unum, "and that's really the interesting part."

Yes. "The Rules" are always the interesting part, aren't they?

Miscellaneous California Duck Information

How well can ducks see? Tagged under "Elk Hunting". The answer is more complex than "very well". But "nearly all waterfowl have monocular, not binocular, vision (they can't stare forward at objects)."

Maybe that also explains how you can hypnotize a chicken by drawing a line on the ground.

The Yolo Basin Foundation hosts California Duck Days in February. Birders and naturalists will be on hand. "On-site activities for families include interactive exhibits, wetland themed arts and crafts, fishing for trout in our ponds, and much more." Might be interesting to observe interactions between hunters and lefty environmentalists, too.

Yolo County is part of the Pacific Flyway. I live in the South Central San Joaquin Valley, which is also in the Pacific Flyway. Egrets camp out in town during certain times of the year, and I saw a crane in an irrigation ditch this week. Ducks live at apartment complexes year-round, but we also get visitors. The occasional duck or goose visits our yard. Excites the dogs.

Before the shallow Tule Lake was mostly drained for farmland, hunters used to come down to the area from San Francisco to shoot ducks. The birds were taken back by boat to San Francisco and served in fancy restaurants there.

Wood Ducks (see art above) are affectionately known as "woodies". Unlike most ducks, they nest in trees. People set up nesting boxes for them. Female wood ducks sometimes lay eggs in the nests of other wood ducks. Other interesting wood duck behaviors are described at the Cornell ornithology site.

Some daddy wood ducks walk sentry duty to protect their families when they venture out of the nest. I only know this because I have a friend whose mother kept wood ducks in a greenhouse. She also nursed exotic animals from the Fresno Zoo back to health when called upon by the zoo director. My friend's father once started building a log enclosure for an elephant, but his wife said he cold not have one. He said she could not have a monkey. But they did have wood ducks.

Any duck stories from where you live?

*Note: The Chicago Boyz link at the top of the page also includes some interesting tidbits on airplanes (direct mind-to-aircraft communication?), the Battle of the Bulge, art, China and ethics classes in the days of triggered students.

daffy-ducks-easter.jpg

The California Duck Must Die?

That's all Folks

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