We witnessed a miracle of nature today, a biological imperative. Duck sex. I have to start out with this observation: duck penises are really icky. Kind of like a folded wet rice noodle.

We were sitting next to Paint Creek, at Children’s Park in Lake Orion, just enjoying the sunshine. Our feet were in the water, mainly to test out new waterproof sandals (research), not as a prelude to jumping in the invitingly cool water with all of our clothes on. Really. The ducks were dabbling and preening. A group of them started chasing each other, biting and quacking. At the same moment that I realized it was a fight for the lone female, one of the males emerged as the victor and unceremoniously mounted the female. It was uncomfortably violent. The male was biting the female’s neck to hold her still.

My son, alarmed, chased the male away. This is when we got the eyeful of flaccid duck penis. I guess being chased by a 7-year-old human is a real killjoy for ducks. They waddled away as a group and napped in the dappled shade of a willow tree. There were no more attempts at procreation. Believe me, we were watching closely.