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Annual Release of the Ducks

This morning was the Annual Release of the Ducks at the pond in Gibson Park, downtown Great Falls. It was scheduled for 10:30am but city park & rec crews were a bit late. I suspect rounding up ducks is a bit like, well, herding chickens, so the event began when the ducks were ready.

There was a nice sized crowd – kids with bags of breadcrumbs in hand, Moms, Dads and grandparents, along with the news crews. It’s spring break for Great Falls public schools and I was glad to see this event timed so kids could experience it.

Today looked like a beautiful spring day as I donned a cotton long-sleeved shirt, then grabbed a lightweight jacket to head to Gibson Park. Note to self, it’s a bit crisp out there waiting for the ducks. My car temp said it was about 39 degrees outside.

At first it seemed like the seagulls ruled the roost with their incessant screeching and chattering. Not to be outdone, you could occasionally hear a baritone quack coming from the mallards and some loud honks from resident Canada geese, the big guys in the pond. The cacophony was interesting to listen to.

The ducks were released with little fanfare. Lots of people were gathered at one end of the pond. As the duck truck drove up to the other end of the pond, a mass rush of savvy parents guided the little ones there. The tailgate of the trailer being pulled behind the City of Great Falls truck opened and Voila, the ducks flapped out to the water.

The end of the parade was brought up by the regal-looking (and sounding) swans. Their trumpet sounds set them apart from all of the other participants and here’s my secret – they are my favorite!

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