Mornin’ Doug:

September 22nd, 2016         6 comments

I used my traditional greeting from our daily e-mail exchange.  I wrote you an email in the morning, you wrote back at whatever time your goofy sleep-wake cycle permitted, often late nights, and then I got your reply the next morning.  All this past summer I found myself eagerly going to the computer each morning, firing it up and checking my email in-box.  It took many weeks before I realized I was still looking for your replies.  Those exchanges were far more meaningful for me than I realized.  Thanks for them…wish like crazy I was still getting ’em.


I was going through some of the photo shoots we’d done together and found a couple I’d managed to sneak in of you taken while you weren’t looking.  I never could understand why you were so phobic about not having your photo taken, but I must have respected it.  Of the thousands of photos we took together, I only have four of you.  I wish now I’d have taken more photos and just let you holler afterward.  This one is a scene many will remember, you introducing a child to the mill pond waterfowl.


I sneaked this one in on you while you were watching the swan intently, not sure if he’d bite, never having tried to hand feed him.  I don’t know if he ever got around to eating from your hand, but he didn’t want anything to do with poking his bill into the plastic feed container, at least not that day.  As I recall, you never did quite make friends with him.


This one came from Kensington.  I wish we’d thought to bring along a couple of apples.  The horse probably does too.

I was saddened to have missed the gathering at the mill pond.  I was down in Indiana helping Bryan and his family move into their new home.  We were against a couple of tight deadlines for closing and the arrival of their household goods before school started.  School starts during the third week of August in Indiana.  It wasn’t reasonable to break away and leave everyone else working hard those long, long days to get the house ready for his family.  I stayed and lent a hand.  We made it, by-the-way, but normally sure-footed Corrie  was exhausted one evening while moving household goods, tripped, fell and broke her hand in the effort.  It’s still troublesome for her.

We have to say our good-byes in our own way when the time is right for each of us.  I have the advantage of knowing what your recovery would have been like had you survived the surgery.  I said my good-bye June 24th.  Don’t, however, think for a second the hole left behind by your passing is filled.  It’s not.

There has been discussion regarding the future of this blog.  Many of your readers expressed a desire to see it continue.  I’d like to see that too…you updating the blog in your unique style.  Nobody else could possibly do what you did.  I can only imagine the concentration it must have required to photograph and track generations of waterfowl, and then write about them in first and second person.

Chuck offered to turn this blog over to me.  It would seem logical, but I remember speaking with you about doing posts on your behalf during your long absence while recovering from the heart attack.  It was clear to me you preferred to have me let it be until you could do it yourself.  I respected that then.  Still do.

I’ve been serving as the site’s administrator since about the first of July.  One of my tasks has been to approve comments.  I discovered this morning I’ve been remiss.  A number of them were waiting my attention when I logged in today.  I hope those posters, including Chuck, will accept my apology.  I’ll continue to serve in the capacity until the site naturally goes dark about the end of the year.  If Chuck wants administration signed over to someone so the blog continues, I can do that too.  Otherwise, this will be my last post out of respect for you.  I know you understand.

I sure do miss you Doug.


§ 6 Responses to "Mornin’ Doug:"

  • Wanda Ryan says:

    Thanks. I still find myself checking the blog every Saturday morning as I have for years. I really miss Doug. He would pop into my work about closing every now and then, and I still find myself watching the door for him. I am hopeful the blog remains. It is such a wealth of information.

  • Andrea says:

    Thank you for sharing your memories and these rare photos of Doug with us, Don. It was sweet to see him and reflect on his unique and wonderful personality. He was a true friend and mentor to me. I loved him and will always remember him with a smile. He would tell me to stop gushing and get back to work so I will.
    My heart breaks with yours.

  • Sherry says:

    Hello don. U will see a posted comment of mine lower. Sherry (Gerych) marion. Please contact me if u have a moment. I was messaging Doug this morning and whike waiting for his reply went to look thru the blog and found the news. It has been a sad day indeed. I sent a little bit to Doug in my Facebook. I lived across the hall from Doug in the late 80s early 90s. We reunited last June via Facebook apparently just before his hear attack. I am reminded again today to keep in touch with those who are important to you. Please see my Facebook memorial and contact me if you have a moment. Sherry Gerych Marion. He will do be missed. And my day did not end as I thought it would she. I wrote him this morning for advice. He will have a special place on my heart. And I will cherish all my memories. Sherry

  • I hadn’t visited this blog in quite a long while, so just now learned of Doug’s death. I am so very saddened by this. I never met him, but his site was one of the first ones I discovered (to my delight) when I started blogging. followed his posts regularly for quite awhile, and we had a few email exchanges, so he definitely felt like a friend. (I’m honoured that he chose my blog as one to include in his sidebar “Blogs I like” section – I still get some visitors from that link, including one today.)

    We have a small pond at our place, with occasional visiting ducks and other aquatic birds, and I learned a lot about them from reading Doug’s posts. I loved his passion for the other critters at the pond and his attitude to life. I hope that somehow you’ll be able to keep his blog online, even if you never manage to add another post to it and simply pay the annual domain & service fee to keep it live. I would hate for the world to lose all the wonderful information he provided and photos that he created over the years.

  • Amy Keating says:

    A few things I need to ask and share.

    Q: Did the signs about not feeding the ducks go up after Joyce and Doug passed on or were they there before and I just didn’t notice them?

    Info to share: The “regulars” have been wintering on the north end of the pond. You can buy duck pellets, 50 lb bag for $20 (plus tax) and corn $9-10 at Big Acres near the Ford Dealership/Arbys on Grand River just north of I-96. Faith, Tony (and his Yorkie) and I have been trying to help the ducks survive the winter. It’s a lot to do, and more ducks have arrived. Apparently, word got out from ducks to others. We lost one of the white Pekins (I believe it was old Buda) and now only have 3 Pekins. See MI Duck Rescue posts on Facebook. They took his frozen body away for a proper burial this summer. Florence is still doing well. The swan, who stayed offish all summer, got very hungry and eats with the ducks now.

    Other Info: MI Duck Rescue – keeps Facebook updated but website is static now that Doug is gone.

    Q: If this blog is going down, perhaps Doug’s brother will save all his photos but those of us needing a way to communicate can simply do so via an email group (as not everyone does Facebook.) I am willing to do email. My email is

  • Amy Keating says:

    Oops….one more thing…

    You can support MI Duck Rescue in two ways you may not have known about (in addition to donating on their website).

    Kroger Card – In your profile, you can select a charity of your choice. MI Duck Rescue is one of them. – use “” rather than regular “”. Again, you can choose your charity and MI Duck Rescue is an option.

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  • Douglas Peterson
    Brighton, Michigan

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    You'll find information about the resident ducks, birds, and critters residing at the Brighton millpond. I slip in my art and poetry, but my photography of wildlife and plants is the primary focus.

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