Numerous times over the last few days we have seen soon to be dads in and along the canal doing their part in this procreation thing. Duck, swan and geese males are patrolling near the nests to protect momma and the eggs.
We saw one swan that had built her nest between two bushes in a family's front yard. Since it is against the law to move her they have a guest for the duration of the incubation period. Daddy was in the canal close by swimming up and down on patrol. :-)
This male pheasant was in the woods near the much more camouflaged female. When we were discovered being a little too curious for his comfort, daddy started walking through the wooded area, in effect leading our attention away from momma. Usually he would have flown but not this time. His instinct led him to offer himself as the target to protect the female and the next generation.
These three pictures are of a gray heron. We have seen quite a few of these standing along the side of the canal. They fly ahead of us down the canal, also leading us away from the female and her nest.
We were amazed at how far the heron stuck with us before turning around and heading "home". He wanted to make sure we were definitely out of the neighborhood before he stopped keeping an eye on us.
And the "creature" below? That is someone's creative and whimsical solution of what to do with the stump of a tree after Mother Nature took the top part down.
To me this looks like Dad and junior out fishing together for the day. Junior looks a little like his elevator might not go all the way to the top but we won't hold that against him. :-)