Talk about before and after -- two of the female ducks at the lake are suddenly surrounded by flotillas of madly bobbing ducklings. They're round and tiny and with their combination of baby fluff and baby fat, so buoyant they basically bounce along the surface of the lake.
Both of the moms seem new to the job, just paddling along, unconcerned when their broods spread out and lose sight of their leaders. There was a moment yesterday when the moms (I have zero proof but I've decided they're two of the four female ducks born and raised at the lake last year), who had been swimming along together, headed for separate shores and there was this mad, comic scramble as the ducklings sorted themselves out and followed the correct (fingers crossed) parent.
A closer look? Of course:
DISCLAIMER: All photos shot with an enthusiastic border collie at the end of the leash.