I knew my time with this little chap would pay off. If nothing else I was going to enjoy time simply watching him show off. Whether he chose to give me a picture to take away was beside the point and quite out of my control as usual.
The rain had just begun to patter gently on the lake as I arrived at his pool and spied him at the far side. My youngest daughter has always had a thing for madarin ducks so I decided to wait and see what would happen.
After a while he nonchalantly meandered in the direction of a nearby group of mandarin ladies dressed in their demure, understated yet elegant greys and creams. So very yin. I noted that this brought him closer to my waiting lens, but still tantalisingly distant.
He began to bathe in the still waters, casting circular ripples from his jewel body. The ladies played it cool and drifted away, closer to me and he followed! Obviously his splashing, washing and fluttering display was meant for them, he wasn’t preening… this was preening with a purpose.
Every now and then he cast a sneaky glance in their direction and ensured that he stayed reasonably close. Close enough to bedazzle them with his coat of many colours.
This went on for maybe twenty minutes until the girls had swooned their way between him and me. Now he really began to pull the stops out. It was as if he knew that this was his cutest pose. Pretending to preen his ample chest he held this position repeatedly with his dark eye fixed on the posse flustering in front of him.
I grabbed a few more shots of him as a drake mallard began noisily making love to one of his ducks (yes, I have the pictures of that too!). This was all too much for this little fellow. Overtaken by ‘love’ he launched himself at his nearest lady friend but was rejected! The ducks acted all coy as he took his fallen crest to the opposite shore.
No doubt his luck will be in soon enough, after all he does look quite irresistible doesn’t he!
If you too are quite taken by him I’m making this shot available to buy. Each piece will be printed by me on museum quality 100% cotton rag paper with a discreet texture. This paper is archival, meaning it will maintain its rich, vibrant colours for a lifetime, or even more. I’ve used the highest quality professional pigments to ensure those colours are true and let me tell you, if you like the shot on the screen, the printed version is a mandarin mile better!
Once I’m satisfied with the print I sign, date and number each one before mounting them in a 20″ x 16″ window mount cut from white, textured archival matt board. The print will then be sealed in cellophane to keep it clean and posted out in a cardboard box by special delivery.
Number one is reserved for Hannah, but the rest are now up for ordering, each print being made to order up to the cut off point of 100 in this edition.
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