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Undoubtedly, wildlife adds a different dimension to our flower gardens.

Two female mallard fledglings by a pond.

Some of my friends live near large ponds populated by ducks that come into their flower gardens more frequently than the owners would like.

Since ducks make a mess, they are understandably not welcome guests. So today I am going to read an excerpt from Frederick William Harvey’s poem “Ducks.”

When God had finished the stars and whirl of colored suns
He turned his mind from big things to fashion little ones.
Beautiful tiny things (like daisies) He made, and then
He made the comical ones in case the minds of men
Should stiffen and become, dull, humorless and glum:
And so forgetful of their maker be
As to take even themselves—quite seriously,
Caterpillars and cats are lively and excellent puns.
All God’s jokes are good—even the practical ones!
And as for the duck, I think God must have smiled a bit
Seeing those bright eyes blink on the day he fashioned it
And He is probably laughing still
At the sound that came out of its bill!

There are certainly some quaint things about ducks, as this poem reminds us.

Undoubtedly, wildlife adds a different dimension to our flower gardens: song birds, peacocks, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, deer and ducks may be viewed as either ornaments or pests. Their assets and/or liabilities as garden visitors vary, depending on the eye of the beholder.


Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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