I gained my respect and love of nature growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. We lived near a small lake where I would observe ducks that would built nests and raise their family during the summer months. When I was in the Navy, I had the opportunity to travel to other countries and observe the different cultures. African artists really piqued my interest in wood carving, so when I returned home I ended up taking a wood carving class. It started out as a little hobby and grew into a true love of wood carving. Most of my wood carvings are of waterfowl, I appreciate the graceful curve of the neck on swans and the contented look in the eyes of the smaller ducks. I do all of my work by hand and on some of the ducks I have wood burned feather patterns for that realistic look. Each one of my wood carvings are unique, autographed and numbered on the bottom. Give someone you care about a one of a kind piece of art, I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as I have loved carving them.

Teals are among the smallest of ducks, weighing in at 13 ounces.  They are the first to migrate in the fall and can fly as far as Peru.  Teals feed on seeds, water insects, crustaceans and tadpoles.  Nests are built on the ground with a clutch of 8-11 eggs.

The canvasback duck is large weighing 1.9-3.5 pounds.  It nests in prairie pot holes with a clutch of 5-11 eggs.  They find a new mate each year.  Their diet consists of wild celery, tubers roots and snails.

Loons are the comparable to the size of a large duck. Males and females have the same black and white plumage. They are excellent swimmers, but are awkward on land. They eat mainly fish. Loons build their nests close to the water. They usually lay 2 eggs and both male and female incubate the eggs. The babies often ride on the back of the adult to rest, avoid predators and conserve heat.

The Pintail duck has two long tail feathers that is unique to its species.  It is plentiful in the United States, Europe and Asia.  The female builds its nest on the ground and lays 7 to 9 eggs.  The pintail feeds on roots, grain and other seeds.       The hand carved pintail includes the long and beautiful tail.  The artist has burned the feathers into the carving.  A plain varnish gives the woodcarving a protective covering.  The varnish also gives the carving a dull sheen that leads itself to the natural beauty.

Swans are admired for their long graceful necks.  The males are called, cobs and the females, pens.  They mate for life.  The pen incubates an average of 6 eggs while the cob stands guard.  Swans can live up to 20 years.

The wood duck is identified by its crested head.  It is found in Central and Eastern US and Canada.  It nests in tree cavities or nest boxes.  It chooses to live in wetland areas near streams and rivers.  It eats seeds and fruits.  The hens eat insects rich in calcium before laying its clutch of 10-12 eggs.  At one time the wook duck was almost extinct, but conservations efforts restored the population.


HOWARD
VON RUDEN