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Shovelers' Retreat

 

A period of rain creates the perfect place to spend this year's final moments at Hunting Island State Park, SC.  Shallow marshes insulated by an evergreen canopy convince these Northern Shovelers to stay a little longer.  Their wide bills are equipped with lamellae which filter leaf particles, tiny mollusks and insects.  They use their wings for underwater swimming as well as for agile flight.  A break in the foliage reveals the 1875 lighthouse which stands 140 feet.  Its relocation in 1889 brought it one quarter of a mile from the shore. June 16, 1933 marked its final day of operation.  But, it's days of visitation will endure for many generations and for many creatures.

 

Interesting Fact:  I acquired a license to purchased these ducks from Scotland Neck, NC and raised them so that I could study them in real life in order to accurately depict them.