We didn’t play this one. Our version was “one potato, two potato …” All of these were elimination rounds to some subsequent game of tag, I think and the words varied depending on where you were born and raised. New York had a particular set of chants and games, many of which included Dutch words missing elsewhere because the Dutch preceded the English in settling the region … and they left some of their language behind.

Ducks waiting along the pond on Boston Common

Ducks waiting along the pond on Boston Common

Ducks on a golden day in November on the Mumford River

Ducks on a golden day in November on the Mumford River

My cousin was born and raised in northern Virginia, right outside of Washington D.C. I was always surprised at the differences in words between us. Simple stuff, lots of the time. I called it “potsy,” and she called it “hopscotch.” I sat on the couch. She lounged on the sofa. We ate supper. She sat down for dinner. It was the subject of some humor and teasing as the years rolled along.

A barnyard runaway hoping for a handout

A barnyard runaway hoping for a handout

Goosy goosy gander, whither shall thee wander?

Goosy, goosy, gander, whither shall thee wander?

So this game — duck, duck, goose — is not a New York game, or at least, not a Queens, New York game. I don’t know if it is a New England game, either. But Wikipedia says it is universal, which means it must be true. Of course!

cee's fun foto chall


I feel honored to be chosen by Cee Neuner  to participate in the Seven Day Nature Challenge.

The challenge asks I post one photo per day for a week. The subject can be anything, as long as it comes from the natural world. About 90% of my work is landscape or wildlife photography. I do side trips to architecture and portraits –and I’m always trying to get a good picture of my dogs — but overall, there’s more of Autumn, the Blackstone River, water fowl, Arizona, and sunrise and sunset.

On this sixth day of the challenge is going down the river. My river, the Blackstone and it’s tributary, the Mumford River, both of which flow through Uxbridge.

Cee and I are acquainted with most of the same groups of photo bloggers and pretty much anyone I can think to nominate has already been nominated. If by some quirk of luck, you have been overlooked, please participate. Consider yourself nominated and chosen! Especially if these are the kind of pictures you usually post, it’s no stretch to just post them as part of the challenge.

Come one, come all!


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I haven’t seen any swans around here at all in months. The local ponds, rivers, waterfalls were all  dry, with their muddy bottoms showing.

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Kaity tells me she’s seen a lot of swans, but not in the usual places. I assume they went to deeper water. Before the rain started in October, you could walk across Whitin’s Pond.

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The ponds are full again. Full of water, full of ducks. I’ve never seen so many ducks. And today, down by Lackey Dam, one swan … and a lot of ducks. The leaves around the pond are dark red to bronze and so, by reflection, is the water.

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A fine day for waterfowl.



When Garry said I should come out and grab my camera, I wasn’t as thrilled as I usually am. Mid November is usually drab, vying with early March for nothing special to shoot. Nonetheless, I went. I haven’t taken any pictures for over a week and my camera was lonely.

Mallards golden november at the dam

As we left the house, the sun came out. I noticed more than a bit of autumn foliage. Most of the trees are half bare. Naked branches cluster right, left, or center … but the rest of the tree is still clothed in golden leaves.

November Mallards dam blackstone

Our first stop was Whitins Pond. The last time we were there, it was mostly muddy bottom. No birds and not enough water to float a canoe. Today it looked normal. The mallards I saw were too far away to shoot, but I was glad to see them swimming lazily on what may be the last warm day of this autumn.

Mallards November Mumford

Garry suggested we check out the dam in the middle of town. When we got there, it was after three … late afternoon since the clocks were turned back. The light was golden and so were the trees along the Mumford River. The angle of the sun and the trees turned the river to gold.

mallard Mumford golden

We were above the dam and a whole flock a mallards were enjoying an excursion. There were males with their bright teal heads, females and adolescents — full-grown, but not yet wearing their adult feathers.

November Mallards Mumford

It was gorgeous. These pictures are not processed. This is how it looked in the lens. No special effects … or any effects … were used. Just a little cropping. A drab day turned into a miraculous day.

November Mallards golden Mumford

Manchaug Revisited

Manchaug is about a mile away … and one of my favorite places to shoot. From its quaint little post office, to the pond, the dam and lively creek that flows downstream, it’s beautiful.



Ducks and geese nest along the shores and there’s a day care center right by the falls for parents who don’t worry excessively about their small children wandering off.


The falls are splendid. The falls have been dammed and the flow of water is controlled to prevent flooding.


In times of drought, the flow is contained to keep the pond full. They have boat races on the pond.