One of the earliest bloomers in the garden is Dicentra spectabilis, or Bleeding Heart. Although it is my intention to introduce as many native plants as possible, I didn’t have the heart (pun intended) to remove these dainty Asian natives.
I love the low-lying, soft-leaved plants and the overall graciousness of the plant. My garden sports a white variety, but I haven’t seen it bloom yet to my garden, and I am not exactly sure where I planted it, so it is possible it didn’t survive the winter.
As I was taking pictures, my husband ran out to Ace Hardware to get a bag of cracked corn. We figured she was hungry. The babies nibbled at the bread I was offering, but mostly the mother consumed the bread. She must have been starving, staying close to her clutch as they began to emerge.
Here’s a video:
After about 5 hours of this incredible show, the mother mallard climbed out of the pond, with her ducklings closely following. They exited out the back yard, went through a gap in our fence and traveled to points unknown. I did some reading about mallards, and it is common that they abandon their nest, but I wasn’t sure if that meant our pond too. I guess it did. There were a couple of things that might have factored in her decision to leave. 1. Our presence. 2. Our net. This net had confused her as she would always fly in from wherever she visited to feed. She’d bounce on the net for a while before figuring out how to return to her nest. 3. The koi. She might not have appreciated sharing the pond, though I doubt she would have that privacy in nature. 4. No pond plants. She seemed to really like perching on the pickerel, but there wasn’t enough room for the duckling dozen.
I have heard that mallards will return to the location of a successful nesting, so we hope to see her again soon!