It turned into "Duck Week" here at Geotripper, and as I got to the end of the list of the more rarely seen species, I realized that in four years I had never posted on the most common duck of all. We have a truism in geology that you could spend a field season in a place collecting all the rare and unusual rocks and minerals, and somehow never pick up the single most common rock in the area. Apparently I do that with birds, too.
In any case, I wondered how to do something original with a duck that is seen at virtually every park and pond in North America, the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) I was going through the small handful of pictures that I've ever taken of them, finding little to work with. Then the answer became as obvious as the nose on my face, in the sense that I looked up and beyond the end of my nose, there was a Mallard family walking right outside my office at CSU Stanislaus. I got up and snapped a few shots of the insufferably cute chicks, and that was that.