Wednesday, 16 January 2013

On Thin Ice?

"On thin ice" generally means a risky or uncertain situation.

But here it just means that we have had a bit of cold weather lately and the local pond is partly covered in ice; the ducks keep part of the pond ice-free for feeding and strut, preen and sleep on the rest.

The sky was clear and the early afternoon light was creating beautiful reflections as well, a bonus. The mallard below had just scooped up some water.

This pair at the edge of the ice.

This series of three pictures of a drake first preening, then fanning its feathers, then taking a drink of the thin layer of water on top of the ice.

 "Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. Albert Schweitzer

The ice had captured bubbles, reeds and leaves:

"Those who cannot understand how to put their thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of debate."  Friedrich Nietzsche 

The open water was reflecting the sky and greens and orange browns of the surrounding trees as well as the birds. Below an American Widgeon.

"In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed." Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Mallards in the open water, first the male and then the female, she appeared to me to be smiling.


 "It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water." Franklin P. Jones

Striking a pose on top of the ice.

...and going for a waddle, in this series, she nearly slips in the second picture, then sort of glares at me and turns her back and wanders off.

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.Confucius 

Back at home, here is the ice covered gargoyle in our backyard fountain.

I started a few paintings this week, but none are ready for the big reveal.

Thank you for dropping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week.....................


  1. beautiful serie! fantastic reflections and amazing colours !

  2. i love these cuties. really peaceful, sweet scenes.

  3. i love seeing the ducks! Looks cold!

  4. Those frozen bubbles certainly made for a unique shot, Gillian. Also, think Friedrich Nietzche speaks the truth and shows incredible understanding of human nature in that brilliant quote.

  5. Nice to see that ducks having so much fun. I can't wait for the painting, it's bound to excite me.

  6. I love shots of ducks, they always looks so happy.

    Great to see that at least somewhere there isn't too much snow, and ice.


  7. Great shots of the mallards and I enjoy thin ice. We've had some mornings with thin ice on the lake near me but it hasn't been lasting as our temperatures keep going up and down and up and down. Your gargoyle is very stylish with his ice cap.

  8. Ice is lovely - and I love your pictures of the ducks and their icy reflections.

  9. Great photos! I love the reflections on the ice!

  10. I enjoyed these photos, Gillian. Ducks are such fun to watch and photograph. And I like the bubbles under the ice too.

  11. Love your skating on thin ice series:) It's amazing to me how ducks and other birds can walk on it without breaking through. There is something very beautiful about it all.

    I've been so tired lately. I just want to sleep in because it has been so cold:) Hope you are well. Chris

  12. cute little ducks....

    love all the pretty reflections!!

  13. Such wonderful photos. They have me smiling..


  14. Nice pictures of the Mallard - they are great looking birds.

    I like the way ice forms its own landscape, but it not something that U see all that often.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

    PS: sorry for slow reply - I been out of internet range in Tasmania!

  15. I loved seeing the mallards on thin ice and appreciated all the quotes you chose to accompany your gorgeous photos! Keep warm!

  16. Delightful series of duck photos. The ice and the reflections are rather special, something we don't see here.

  17. One day (I think last winter), I watched the mallards on the Jericho pond. I was torn between laughter at their comical slide-to-a-stop landings and worry that they might injure themselves. Love your photos. Beautiful ducks, exquisite ice patterns, and interesting gargoyle too :)