January 15: Ducks are at their most beautiful while lying down in winter. It’s a favorite pose because they have an insulating layer of fat on their chests and bellies and they can pull their feet and legs into their feathers to keep them warm. They create their own down-filled parkas by fluffing out their feathers a bit to trap insulating air. Their compact, rounded shape is effective against the cold and brings out the beautiful patterns of their markings and texture of their feathers. Their compact beauty is accentuated set against a pristine background of pebbled ice that’s reflecting a clear blue sky. The texture of the ice was created when cold raindrops instantly froze to the pond surface the day before this image was captured.
As flocking animals, don’t you find it surprising ducks don’t cuddle to preserve body heat? Ducklings do it all of the time, but once ducks grown up, they aren’t fond of touching each other. Even courtship rituals are done at a slight distance.