ducks in a row

American Black Ducks, all in a row on Lake Edinboro. 2020

Spent another night in our tiny cottage on the Lake, as Summer rapidly winds down up North.

We have always named our habitat spaces.

I’m pretty sure this stems from all those years growing up reading books perched amongst the branches of my parent’s Chinese Chestnut trees. Laura lived in The Little House on the Prairie, Scarlett O’Hara lived at Tara, and The Cleary Family lived on the sheep ranch, Drogheda. And so it goes for Cuppycake & I that there has been The Duplex, Springland Terrace, True North, and our current home – North Star.

Along with this rather new (special) cottage space, Cana.

The Wedding Feast of Cana has always been my favorite bible story; so much so, that our children know my tombstone need only have one inscription upon it…“Do whatever He tells you.” John 2:5 When it came time to name our cottage it felt natural it should be christened as Cana (on the Lake.) Why, Cana? Well, as we often tell our visitors, “There’s plenty of water AND wine to share when you join us there!” As well as, one of the added delights we discovered is that at the park – which serves as part of our front lawn – there are weddings which take place! Many Bride & Grooms show up, long into the Fall months, for beautiful photo-shoots & we delight in being their quiet guests.

However, THIS morning I woke to discover the Black Ducks had arrived!

(Did you know Daffy Duck was an American Black Duck too??)

So many of them…all in a row.

To get one’s ducks in a row basically means to ensure all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.

Our lake serves as an annual pit-stop for this group of black-feathered friends, on their way a little further up North toward Ontario. I guess you could say our Lake is one of those small details or elements in the longer journey they must make.

American black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and resemble the female mallard in coloration, though the black duck’s plumage is darker. The male and female black duck are similar in appearance, but the male’s bill is yellow while the female’s is a dull green. The head is slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculum is iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. In flight, the white underwings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body. A close relative of the Mallard, the Black Duck is better adapted to wooded country. In its stronghold along the Atlantic Coast it is a hardy bird, wintering farther north than most dabbling ducks. It is among the few dabblers to prosper in lake areas; pairs and small parties of Black Ducks are often seen flying over the marsh, their white wing linings flashing in bright contrast to their dark bodies.

Since Fall migration is often late in season, as waters freeze or food supply is depleted, their presence on our lake in late October is a good sign of an early Winter. But because much of migration apparently occurs at night, we never know if they will still be with us each morning, which is why I always delight in the opportunities at seeing them here!

And I like to imagine because the older birds will form pairs by early fall and remain together until the following summer…a wedding feast of their very own (perhaps) occurs right out there on the lake too.

I hope they are comforted in knowing we always have plenty of wine to share for the celebration, just across the lawn at Cana, when they do!


However, I must admit seeing these Ducks this morning gives me pause to ask,

“Do I have all my ducks in a row?

Do you have your ducks all in a row today?

Are there things He is asking you to do for Him?

More importantly, are you willing to be brave enough to allow your own water to be turned into wine when you do?

hugs n’ many blessings to each of you who, “Do whatever He tells you!

plenty to share…

I like to share.

Just a few of the things I enjoy sharing are:

a kayak ride at our cottage by the lake, a campfire, a bottle of wine, laughter, recipes, and my faith.

A few of the things I do not enjoy sharing:

Continue reading “plenty to share…”

creativity takes courage

“Every artist was first an amateur.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m practicing how to be courageous.

And let me tell you, “It’s hard!

So I’ve let go of false expectation and instead I’ve just started to be, as Christ invites us, as a child again.

At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

Matthew 18: 1-5

…like a child standing at the edge of the water – knees bent, fingers pinched over my nose, prepared to leap off feet first with one enthusiastic JUMP!

…who wonders, “Will water sneak up my nose?”

“Will my toes touch the bottom?”

“Will I make a big splash?”

…yet is surprisingly okay that


Continue reading “creativity takes courage”