It was with great joy many years ago that we found a home with a pond in the backyard. As time passed, we came to enjoy it more and more especially when the waterfowl started showing up in our pond. It was something that gave us twenty years of loving our visitors to the pond.
It was a beautiful September with the sun warm and many flowers still in bloom in our flower garden. My wife and I were pruning the roses, putting some fall plants in the ground, and shepherd hooks to keep a bit of color in the garden. We were already getting Baltimore Orioles visiting our bird feeders and we were waiting in anticipation for more seasonal birds to come and winter with us.
In the distance, we saw and heard the ducks coming and saw several groups coming closer. They dropped lower in the sky and the first formation circled the pond several times. With each flyby, several made a feet first landing skidding across the water as they landed. It didn’t take long for our pond to be filled with quacking ducks. One by one they came to our fence and introduced themselves to my wife and me.
My wife ran to the garage to get some birdseed for them to eat. I was watching as they gathered near the fence quacking and running up and down the fence line waiting to be fed. One smaller duck pushed his way through the flock and stood in front of me. It was a smaller duck, but he was feisty and standing his ground. I noticed that the top half of his bill was missing. My wife threw some bird food out to him, and he seemed not to have any problems eating the food.
They settled in and became a big part of our life for years to come. Half bill became family to us, entertaining us and inspiring us with his courage and good nature. He would come running each time we opened the door or worked in the garden. He became our dear friend for many years and was always part of our morning rituals.