Just when you thought everything was going to hell…

Okay, there is a terrible war in Ukraine where Russia is killing anyone it can. There are shootings. The economy is crazy, with inflation climbing to levels we have not seen in many years. The Democrats are frazzled and shy about Joe Biden and his age and reelection chances. Donald Trump, as a Congressional Committee has well shown us, was every bit as stupid and bad as some of us thought he was. And he created the evidence to prove it! Many Republicans are ignoring that. Civil war is hinted by the most foolish people on the right wing. Covid. Covid. Covid. The world is melting. Public employees are abandoning the big cities and looking for cheaper, calmer lives at higher salaries. Old people like me continue to get older! Hip joints!

The news is bad all over.

But that’s just for us. The news is not bad for another species that provides endless entertainment, adorability beyond even kittens, the ability to flip completely upside down and stick their butts in the air, and great swimming skills even from their first week.

Ducks. That’s what is undeniably good about the world right now. There are ducks teaching their babies all kinds of duck things. In the process, they are creating images that somehow make us feel completely human again. Little children squeal with delight. Their parents can’t help but smile. Grandparents show up with crushed corn just to feed the quacking masses that swim to their spots along the water.

Here’s what I’m talking about!

Undergraduate duck near Northwestern University in Arrington Lagoon

Tell me you have ever seen anything cuter and I’m calling bullshit on you. These things are adorable. So adorable I have taken roughly 300 photos of them floating around the pond doing every duck thing you can imagine but mating (that was earlier, and quite a sight. The details are too salacious to write down here.)

A trio of tiny ducks!

I am not certain I have spent a happier hour in my advanced adult life than the time I spent watching nothing but ducks (and the occasional red winged black birds) at the Arrington Lagoon. They just kept on coming and coming. I could not stop photographing them.

That’s is when I realized I had a great media product right in front of me: Duck of the Day!”


I spent roughly 40 years writing the hardest news you could ever imagine, everything from kid killers to charlatans to Communists to thieves and beyond. None of it inspired anyone or served any real purpose other than to pay my wages to take care of business at home.

Almost every part of that world has evaporated, either looted by venture capitalists and hedge funds that sucked the very life out of it then turned what was left into profitable condos and casinos, or abandoned by the group that used to be known as “loyal readership” that was distracted by every damn Christmas ornament of an Internet media world and took its attention elsewhere.

So, bad news will continue. There will be attempts to present happy news about local heroes, or joyous news about people who have lots of babies, or who knows what?

I prefer “Duck of the Day” for my effort. Why? You are not better informed by this effort, but if it doesn’t just make you happy there is something wrong with you and you should rush off and get lots of help.

I’m sticking with the ducks. Look for them. They will show up a couple of times a week, just when you need most to look at a lovely animal just sitting in the water.

These ducks know that sometimes to get what you need, you have to go in the opposite direction.

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