Out of the Blue

I recently mentioned the sound and fury of the mating season on the pond we overlook. This has only gotten more interesting since then. One of the swans made an appearance for the first time in a while, so I'm assuming the other was incubating an egg somewhere (there's a nearby marsh where we suspect they nest). But we'd never before seen a swan behave like it did during this brief return. It flew a couple of times, which was unusual in itself. But even odder was it giving chase to one of the geese. The dominant swans usually get left alone as they mind their own business. In this case it not only took flight to chase a goose across the pond, but this pursuit continued on shore. As far as we can tell the swans are completely loathe to leave the water, so the goose must've really pissed it off. That was a mild conflict compared with the other thing I experienced. Investigating some frantic screaming (for lack of a better term) I saw two ducks mating. That's the nice way to put it, as this seemed way more like rape than anything. And yeah, doing some Googling makes me realize I have harbored some very naive misconceptions about consensual sex in the wild. The oddest part is there was a third duck in the mix, another drake who made lame duck attempts to interrupt the action to no effect. A ménage à trois most fowl.

Obituary: Jens Hauch, former ArenaNet and 343 Industries technical artist, has passed away.

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Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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