Female Wood Duck / Playing Ducks and Drakes

Female Wood Duck - Playing Ducks and Drakes

The Wood Duck is a North American species of duck closely related to the striking Mandarin Duck whose numbers are on a decline in their native Eastern Asia.

Some people use "Duck" to refer to adult females exclusively and "Drake" to denote adult males. The drakes of many Northern species have bright, extravagant colors during breeding season, while ducks tend to be drab - probably to camouflage them while they incubate their eggs.

In Old English, the pastime of skipping rocks over water was called "playing ducks and drakes". The expression has come to mean, "to behave recklessly; to idly squander one's wealth".

We all play ducks and drakes with our time. Some of us more, some less. Skimming flat stones on the surface of water is not a skill that translates into anything meaningful. Nor does casual wildlife photography or bird watching. The same argument can be made for all our pastimes. Yet there is something "meditative" about stone skipping. Many do not understand the significance of contemplation and meditation on the human mind. Contemplation is not meditation. Meditation is not contemplation. Idling is neither...
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