Well, more about the freeloaders waiting for us to feed them. These ducks (I think there are 25 in the picture) are sitting in our back yard waiting for food. About 18 inches (.46 m) of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours, and it is still snowing. Everything in NYC and northern New Jersey has pretty much come to a standstill.
We didn't start feeding them until a week or so ago when the lake froze over completely. They just wouldn't go south for the winter. Between 15 and 25 ducks would come to our yard to forage for the bird seed that the birds were tossing on the ground. The bird feeder is about 20 feet off the ground so that the bears won't visit our yard, and few birds will pick up the seed on the ground because of the neighborhood cats (another reason for having the bird feeder as high as it is).
When we finally bought some cracked corn for the ducks, they told all their friends, I guess, and about 40 ducks were visiting us twice a day. We limit the amount of food we put out to be sure that the ducks continue to forage for most of their daily needs, but there's little open water right now except back behind the beaver dam.
Poor MV Watermelon, sitting in Florida waiting for us to get back there. Soon!