| Once again, a routine hike along the Newport Dover-Foxcroft Rail Trail yielded another amazing experience. I encountered nearly 30 ducks paddling around Sebasticook Lake. Most of them stayed very close to the shore, bobbing up and down on the waves, like small skiffs tethered to a mooring. Even though I tried to approach them in complete silence, I managed to alarm them to my presence with the snap of a twig or the crunch of a leaf beneath the sole of my shoes. The ducks would turn their heads parallel to the shore as if to listen intently, while keeping their eyes on me. All of a sudden the honking would begin, one duck after the other would spread the word among the flock that an intruder was nearby. Then in unison they would push off from the shoreline and effortlessly float out toward the middle of the lake. Once I stepped back and hunkered down behind the trees and shrubs along the shore, the ducks would float back toward the shoreline. As I waited patiently for the “right shot” I was lucky enough that a pair of Black Ducks floated through the water in front of me just long enough for me to snap the photograph above.