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#254 Crested Shelduck

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 46

While we are sailing with Phileas Fogg toward the United states and have left Japan behind, I am stretching what I consider local because otherwise I would be almost exclusively painting fish for quite a while. We won't be hitting land until day 65 of this mini series. These ducks have been seen in Russia, Siberia, Korea, Japan, and China. They are listed as critically endangered, but are assumed to be extinct unfortunately. They were rarely seen even when they were originally discovered. In fact there are no photos of them alive, and only 3 museum specimens exist. The last confirmed sighting was in 1964, though there was one that may be credible from 1985, and there was a claim of eating a few after that point as well. Some shelducks nest in burrows, but it is unknown if these do, and some think they may have nested in tree hollows. Even their diet is unknown and just assumed based on what other ducks like them eat. They were usually seen in flocks of 2 up to 8 ducks, so not very many at a time.

I think it looks as if it is wearing the mask Westley wore when he was the "Dread Pirate Roberts" in "The Princess Bride". I, as most people I know, count that as one of my favourite movies. I have a rather long list of favourites actually, and almost all of them are older than I am. "Arsenic and Old Lace" is one of them. We did the play in high school, and I was one of the old sisters. Another favourite movie is "What's Up Doc?" a movie that even had my teenage sons belly laughing at times. I prefer funny upbeat movies. The older I get, the less I can handle stressful, violent, or scary movies. I still love "Wait Until Dark" which is an Audrey Hepburn movie, even though it is suspenseful and I feel the stress. It helps that I've already watched the movie several times. I'm not sure if I'd never seen it and didn't know the ending if I'd be able to handle it now. I have such scary dreams, I don't need to be scared for entertainment. Part of my problem is that while I've done stage make-up and I know how many of the special effects are done, I really get into movies and plays. It bothers me when people are mean to each other, and when I am unable to help people. I'm great with emergencies in real life. I've had to take control of situations a few times. Once a toddler who should not have been using a knife was allowed to try and carve a pumpkin. The father went into a panic when the girl cut her finger. I finally had to yell at him to get him to snap out of it and stop trying to use his hand to create a tourniquet halfway up on her arm. I sent someone for bandages, took her from him, put pressure on the wound, put her in the car seat, sat next to her keeping pressure on it (in another car seat, there wasn't a spot for me in the back), and told the dad to drive to hospital. I really suggest that anyone who has kids take a first responder course, but even with that not everyone can function well in the sight of blood or their child injured.

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