We noticed a pair of baby mallards in Waterton several weeks ago. We saw them again the next few rides over the next couple of weeks. Eventually we realized there was no adult around. The babies were alone.
Instead of just training, my rides up Waterton became status checks. I always stopped to see if I could find the babies, even if it meant getting eaten alive by the biting flies. I couldn't ride home without knowing if the babies were okay.
We recently took another ride up Waterton after a three-week break doing other rides and not seeing the babies when we did ride Waterton. I had feared the babies were gone. It would be tough to grow up in Waterton without a parent to teach you how to stay away from predators.
But we'd seen a bear cub do just that two years ago. Could the ducklings do it, too?
It took some real stealthy looking, but I found our teenagers, still side by side, and it looks like they are going to make it! Mama taught them well before she disappeared!