Tuesday, July 30, 2019

What IS It?

SlowBoat is taking a few "Make and Mend" days (learn what THOSE are here) in Macedon before heading west to Buffalo. Meanwhile, we'll catch you up on our July cruise down Cayuga Lake.

Spotted near the dock at Thirsty Owl Winery.
The July 16th “What IS It?” quiz challenged you to identify a strange structure protruding from the waters of Cayuga Lake (right).

This quiz was a first for SlowBoat--I did not actually know the answer! 

Our friend Steve Merwin, an expert hunter and fisherman,explained that what looks like a fuzzy mailbox is actually a nesting structure for ducks. (THANKS, Steve!) 

It’s designed for mallards and similar “dabbling duck” species. People call these structures "hen houses."

On the prairies of Canada, hen houses are a conservation tool that put nesting ducks out of the reach of predators. Mallards are hardly a species of conservation concern around here, so I assume whoever erected the box just wanted to attract them for easy viewing. Kind of like putting a bird feeder in your backyard.

Among all the answers to this quiz, we had NO correct answers. But I promised a prize for most creative answer, so a tacky postcard will be winging its way to Rachel Kline, for her guess of “mermaid mailbox.”  Well done, Rachel!

Ready for Your Next Challenge?

Check out this odd indentation (left), a regular feature in many (but not all) locks. 

No, it’s not a meditation altar for carp. It's not a  place to leave your soap if you’re bathing in the lock. So, what IS it?

Use this blog's "Comment" function to reply—or just reply on Facebook. You know the drill! 

You know you want to win that tacky postcard and enjoy bragging rights as a “What IS It” champion!

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