Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ducklings

I might have to end up doing another twofer for my workout post, because I've been way too busy to write up last week's so far!

The good news is, I have been keeping at it, and I even have a story to tell!

Bike Riding
I really wanted to get a long ride in this past weekend, so I asked Cam if he would be up for it on Saturday. He agreed it'd be good to get one in before Summer Camp (a music festival he goes to every year), so we met up Saturday morning after a bit of running around.

Aside: I stopped at Dicks to pick up a new Camelbak bladder for Cam, and while I was there I decided to see if they have the Brooks Uplift sports bras that I really like. And they did...ON SALE! Like, cheaper than on the Brooks website! I was thrilled, so I snagged two of them. I've been so sick of doing laundry every other day (the Uplift is the only running bra I wear now), so it was a good buy.

After my little errand we met up in the parking lot of the DQ right next to the trail we rode last time, but we were way further south. Only about 4 miles from our turn around point last time.

Let me tell you guys, it was a great day for a ride. The weather was great - the sun was out and there was a breeze so it didn't feel like the sun was trying to beat us to death with its rays. I was also looking super chic in my TriFe shorts, which I'm happy to say I've gotten very...umm...accustomed to, given all the trainer rides I've done. (Seriously, all I can think about right now is Meredith Atwood's post on "The Queen". Just go read it.)

Anyways. I was looking snazzy, I adjusted my seat (not enough though), and we slathered ourselves in sunscreen then hopped on our bikes for the ride.

We ended up doing 26 miles in just under 2 hours (moving time).

In actually though - the ride took nearly 3 hours. As we were coming back through Elgin (about 6 miles from our start point) along the river, we rode past three ducklings loudly chirping on top of a storm drain. As we sped by, the got scared and tried to run off...and one of them fell down the drain!

Operation Duckling Rescue
Without even hesitating Cam and I pulled over and ran back to the drain, only to see two ducklings paddling away in the water. Cam pulled the cover off the drain and we decided to see if we could fish the little guys out.

I called public works to let them know, and they did send a police officer over, who seemed really annoyed that he was spending his Saturday rescuing ducklings (and I can't really blame him). He kept saying things like, "This happens every day out in the wild" and "This is just the course of nature"...so clearly we shouldn't have bothered calling public works. Next time I'll call the fire department.

But while the officer said these things, Cam managed to fish one of the ducklings out using my helmet (no, I did not wear my helmet for the rest of the ride, storm drain water is GROSS). I took him over to his siblings and they spent the rest of the time we were there hiding behind a dumpster before coming out to look for the one duckling still in the drain.

Running over to his siblings.
Sadly, we weren't able to rescue him because he wandered down the pipe attached to the drain. At one point I used the police officer's flashlight ('Please don't drop it, those are expensive...' ...I didn't drop it) and hung down into the drain to look down the pipe. That's right, my TriFe, spandex spangled ass was sticking out of this storm drain as I hung as far down as I could, looking for a lost little duckling.

During all of this, people were stopping as they drove, biked, and walked by, making sure we were okay, and applauding our efforts to save the little buggers. It really surprised us how many people stopped to see if they could help in some way. It put to rest the fear that no one will stop to help me if I get a flat or injure myself during a bike ride.

Oh yeah...and people on their balconies were taking pictures of us doing all of this. I hope they enjoy those pictures of me in my spandex.

Unfortunately, the little guy wasn't anywhere to be seen, so after more than half an hour we decided to give up the rescue mission. :(

However, the question remained...what to do about the other three? Momma duck clearly wasn't around, and there was no easy way for these guys to find their way back to the river. We decided to round them up and go look for other ducks to leave them with.

We lucked out in that a woman passing by offered to help us. She scooped up one of the ducklings, and while Cam and I chased after the others (they are fast little suckers!) she wandered off. Later we found out she had done exactly what we did...

Found them a new momma.

As we walked along the river holding on to the ducklings, we looked for another group of ducks to leave them with. We saw some, crossed the river, and then I hopped down to the bank to let my little dude go. He was adorable and cute and soft and fuzzy, and I named him Harold during that short walk...and I seriously considered taking him home. But honestly, wtf would I do with a duck?!

So I set him on the ground and gave him a little nudge, and he ran off into the water before swimming to the other group of ducks further down the bank. I went and got Cam's duckling and repeated this, except he ran right over to the other ducks. For a second, the momma duck looked at him like, "What the..." and then seemed to just accept that she had two more children now.

Sidenote: I did actually read an article a few weeks ago about how the "don't touch baby animals, the mom will reject them if they smell humans" thing isn't really true. If I could find it, I'd post it, but I can't remember where I read it. I'll keep my eyes peeled for another one!

I crawled back up the bank and then wandered down a little until I could see them, and their new momma was smelling and preening them. I wanted to make sure they wouldn't be attacked since the ducklings in this group looked like they were a week or two older, and especially because I'm sure the little guys smelled super ripe after Cam and I had been holding them in our sweaty mitts. But they didn't give one lick. They were accepted, just like that.

It was a happy ending to our little rescue saga, though I'm still a bit sad about duckling #4 :(

After all that, we hopped back on our bikes and struggled through the six miles back to the car...at which point we went to the gym to make use of the hot tub. And then we got some ASS (that would be Algonquin Sub Shop). The perfect end to a long ride!


Other things...
Totally unrelated to my duckling story...I made this huge mental slip up and I thought I'd mention it. For the last few weeks I've been telling people that my training plan starts May 30th. And my triathlon training plan does...

...but the marathon plan? Hah. That started Monday. Good news though, I've nailed the first four days (so far...I still have three miles to run after work today, and I did legs this morning...).

I also got my #TeamRMHC packet in the mail yesterday, and the reality that I'M RUNNING A MARATHON IN OCTOBER is settling in.

Speaking of...I should post about that!

Maybe next time though, eh? Have a great end-of-your-week, and I'll be back this weekend with something interesting!


x

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for rescuing those two little guys! I'm a sucker for baby ducks. I'm so glad you were able to find them a new family.

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  2. Thanks for being a good person!

    ReplyDelete