Duck Amuck

For weeks now, some of our Waters neighbors have been seeing Aflac on Sweet Tea lake, or Jake Lake. I’ve been skeptical because Aflac can’t fly and it seems unimaginable that he could walk that far to another lake. Plus this mystery duck has been cavorting with GEESE, and Aflac hangs exclusively with mallards and wood duck in Lake Cameron.


These be my PEEPS!

For non-neighbors, I refer you to an earlier post where I introduced our celebrity water fowl last October.

So imagine my surprise when I spotted a white duck among a flock of geese in Lake Sweet Tea this morning. Well I’ll be gobsmacked! Aflac CAN walk and he DOES enjoy the company of geese!

And then I got a little closer…


Notice the black on his tail.

The picture is fuzzy since I couldn’t get very close, but this new “duck” is completely white and he has black feather’s on his tail. You wouldn’t see the black spot at all if you saw him swimming with his geese buddies, so from a distance he would look almost exactly like Aflac. I did a few tests to confirm my suspicions that he was indeed NOT our pet duck and then I was convinced. First I called him. AAAAAAFFFLAAAAAAC! You’ve no doubt heard a deranged middle-aged mad-woman screaming off her front porch several days a week. When I call for this guy he answers me…WAAAANK, WANK! And he makes a bee-line for my cup full of corn. This fellow walked calmly away from the crazy lady and didn’t even look back.


Is this chick for real?

Another clue to his identity was that he does not waddle like our portly friend. Aflac is, shall we say, “gravitationally challenged” and he walks much like yours truly after a very long and heavy Thanksgiving dinner. This guy strolls smoothly like his geese pals. And the final piece of the puzzle…although I couldn’t capture it on camera, our new friend “flew” a bit as he made his way to the water.

Aflac can’t fly. 😦

So who is this new member of the Waters’ family?


I’m a Snow Goose you dummy!

I googled “white duck with black tail” and was able to identify this guy. Wikipedia has some interesting info on his migration patterns. Knock yourself out.

This information explains his propensity to hang with geese as well. So I say welcome neighbor! We hope you have fun here on your layover and we’d love it if you’d stay a while. There’s always room in Aflac’s posse for another birdy buddy.


And don’t be skeered of that weird lady. She feeds us CORN!

The next order of biz-ness is naming our new friend. Ideas?

(A kind neighbor, Tina, corrected his breed. He’s a Ross’ Goose. Exactly the same duck but a smaller size.) Thanks Tina! So with this new information I think the name of our new friend is clear.

ROSS he is! Now we need to find him a “Rachel”. 🙂

Buster Burlingame 2007-2017

Buster crossed the rainbow bridge today. He had been sick for a very long while and with the help of our beloved vet, Dr. Glasscock, we attempted all kinds of remedies and treatments. During the last year he’s had a variety of illnesses but this last one was hard to treat and he was not getting better. It’s called “head tilt”. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s a difficult disease to treat. It causes them to lose their equilibrium and their heads are turned at an angle.


Notice his head is almost upside down. This was his last day outdoors.

Eventually he could not get upright and Jim had to feed him by hand and give him water in a plastic syringe. He stopped using his litter box so we had to keep him clean by washing his bottom in the sink. He quit eating his pellets and hay and would only eat salads. Jim got up in the middle of the night to give him a salad in case he was hungry.


Eventually we realized that it was time to let go of our sweet little pet. Buster lived with us for nine and a half years. He made his home in the laundry room and played outdoors in our backyard on nice weather days. He made friends with chickens, ducks, cats, kittens, turtles and dogs.

This morning he had lost the ability to move around and he looked very tired and sad.


I had been thinking that we should let him go for a few weeks but Jim wanted to try everything before he came to that decision. After seeing his condition when we woke up, he said, “It’s time”. We spent the morning taking turns holding and petting him. Buster never liked to be held but without any control over his movement we were able to put him in our laps and pet his soft fur. He seemed to enjoy it. It’s the only time we were ever able to hold him like that.


First Easter!

He provided so many years of love, humor and gentleness to our family. He tolerated pesky kittens and baby chicks. He allowed us to indulge our silly human indignities.


Buster and Scarlett

We took him to Dr. Glasscock and carried a small piece of banana with us. We broke it into pieces and fed it to him while we waited in the exam room. He loved it. He seemed peaceful and relaxed. After it was over, we took him home and buried him in our pet cemetery. I put his memorial bunny on his grave and Jim got Boo Boo’s bunny from hers and put them together.


Some of you may remember Boo Boo. She was a very sweet little sister to Buster and they really loved each other. Now they’re together with Dave, Missy, Boots, Rosie, Daisy & Violet…and Hannah.



Buster and his best friend Boo Boo. She died five years ago. 😦


Good bye sweet Buster Man. We’ll miss you, Mommy, Daddy, Rowdy, Sammy, Tony & Mr. Mulder.