Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’t

Have your read the interview with Rita Moreno in which she says “tough darts” in response to a question about how intimidating her presence might be at a rehearsal of West Side Story?  [Read here.]

I like this woman and immediately adopted TOUGH DARTS as my newest favorite way of saying: oh well, get over yourself, whatever.  It’s an old-fashioned version of “too bad, so sad” which is another one of my favorite sayings.

Anyhow, here’s the story.

On Saturday the sky was gloriously clear and I decided that we needed to go to a popular county park on the other side of nowhere from us.  We hadn’t been there in years and I remembered it as being a lovely tranquil place to walk while enjoying ducks on the lake.

And who doesn’t like watching some ducks do ducky things while you’re outside for a healthful walk?

Well, we found the park, but as we drove into the parking lot we were surprised by how few cars were around.  Beautiful day… warmer temps… Saturday afternoon… THIS DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.  Where were the people?

Come to find out after our Polar Vortex week the temperatures had gotten warm enough to create flash flooding that had left much of this park submerged under water.  When we set out on this adventure I didn’t know that, however once we got to the park we could see that the paths had debris on them or were muddy as heck or were still under water.

Thus our walk could not be.

But I had my camera with us so I took a bunch of random photographs of what I saw around me.  The following seven photos show you, my gentle readers, the ducky walk that wasn’t. 🤨

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Gorgeous blue winter sky behind sign indicating play area.

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An ark a la Noah, now muddy thanks to flash flooding in the play area. Oh the irony!

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Debris on this walking path for as far as the eye could see.

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Park bench, still muddy, having been submerged under flash flood water.

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Canoe & kayak launching area still under water. Green square is top of a trash can.

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Beginning of muddy path not taken, much muddier up around the curve.

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Two ducks that initially appeared to be in the middle of the lake who were sitting on top of the back of a park bench, normally by the side of the lake, now submerged under water because of flash flooding.

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Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

101 thoughts on “Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’t”

    1. Z-D, I know the park will recover and once all the debris is cleared, it’ll be a great place to walk again. But you gotta admit, last Saturday was not its finest hour.

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  1. Ducks seem to be quite resilient. Last summer, the lake behind our house practically disappeared from the drought. Grass grew in the center, the groundskeeper even mowed it. But the ducks just hung out waiting for the rains to refill their home.

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    1. Joanne, I was bummed when I realized that we wouldn’t be walking around the lake, but the light was good so I snapped pictures. Also, those ducks in the last photo made me laugh out loud, so not a total waste of a Saturday afternoon.

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  2. Yeah, I remember all those rains that came through. It’s why I didn’t even bother to hit up the park on one of the warmer days while I was off last week, because I’m sure it will be a soggy mess for a while. Whichever sea/ocean/gulf/giant puddle has been supplying all of the moisture for the nonstop barrage of rain/ice/snow this year really needs to dry up. Though those cute animals in the ark prefer to take a cruise…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, I didn’t even think about flash flooding when we set off on this adventure, yet I’d been hearing about it on TV news reports. Duh. I agree, less moisture now, please. Let’s get this pretty spring season started early, shall we?

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  3. Every day I recover (so to speak) from writer’s wobbles when I walk by the lake behind our house. The mallards aren’t skittish, but the egrets are, flying away when they detect a human (me). Lovely story and shots, Ally!

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    1. marian, thank you! I took the pics just ‘cuz. I’m envious that you have the daily opportunity to walk by a lake with mellow ducks. I find them entertaining, but know nothing about egrets… this being the midwest and all. Where it’s quite muddy.

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  4. Love Rita Moreno and the phrase “tough darts.”
    Great photos! (Parky’s Ark–😂). So sad about the park being submerged due to flash floods. But fitting in a way with an ark in the park.

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    1. L. Marie, I think tough darts is the best new saying, that is probably ancient slang, that I’ve heard in years. The park will recover from the flash flooding, but I agree with you that there’s something fitting with the ark being surrounded by water.

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    1. Almost Iowa, no eagles here. So cool for you. Around here some nocturnal creature will find the decaying fish and feast. In the meantime no walkies for us in this park.

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    1. Prior, at first I didn’t realize what I was seeing with those ducks, but then Z-D pointed out what was going on. I was fascinated and had to take a pic of it. The ark made me smile the second I saw it. Love irony like that.

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    1. Deb, it was a mess everywhere we looked. I don’t know why it didn’t register with me that the flash flooding I was hearing about on TV news would, of course, cause this particular park to flood. I’ll be more aware of that in the future. 🙄

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    1. Susan, great word play. It hadn’t registered with me that if there was widespread flash flooding, then [obviously] the parks would be flooded, too. But like you said, nothing ventured & it was memorable in its own way.

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  5. This looks like SPRING!! We are currently covered in 3 feet of snow with more on the way but the sun is out for now so no complaints.

    Love the ducks and the ark. That looks like an enjoyable day – even if not the one you planned!

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    1. katie, we are so close to spring it almost hurts me to think about it. The sun was out on Saturday which was a delightful change of pace. You’re right, we did have a fun time at the park seeing what there was to see. The best laid plans of mice and men, eh?

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  6. The ducks must have been confused-“where did our habitat go?” I didn’t know you got flash floods there. I think of that happening in the desert, like it’s been doing in Palm Springs lately. Hmmm. Sorry you couldn’t get out for the walk you envisioned but tough darts, eh? 🙂

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    1. Margaret, because of the hills and creeks going down to the Ohio River this area gets flash floods in the lower lying areas. This park is closer to the river so it got flooded. Those ducks seemed content with where they were standing, so maybe ducks just learn to go with the flow. 😉

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  7. Apparently, the moral of the story is, flooding isn’t a problem, if you’re a duck.

    Great photos, especially the last one. My favorite park has been flooded several time this winter due to the temps that go from below zero to 50f in the same week.

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  8. I was afraid we were going to have a flash flood in our backyard and my in mid construction studio would be underwater! Fortunately the rain stopped and the water got soaked into the ground. Still made for a muddy mess. Your pictures are terrific. Love the ark!

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    1. Janet, I’m glad that your construction is still a go despite the rain. Maybe mud is part of any building construction? I remember mud everywhere when we had this house built. The ark is wonderful. And even more so when it’s muddy. 😊

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    1. nance, the blue sky is what got me thinking about going to the park. We saw three ducks total, but the rest of them must be somewhere around that park. Where else would they go? Next time we get to that park I want to see more ducks doing their little ducky things. *quack*

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  9. Tough darts? I would love to say “tough titties” and sometimes it just slips out despite the fact that I am a vicar’s daughter. It’s insulting, vulgar, stoic, superior, funny and infantalising all in one breath. Perfect.

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    1. Rachel, I’ve heard your slang and clearly it works for you. I say, why fix something that isn’t broken? You can be tough one way and I’ll be tough another! 😉

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        1. I wondered that too. Tough darts sounds polite enough… but if a dart came flying at me I’d have a lot more to say about it than “tough.” Slang is a funny thing to try to figure out.

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  10. Oh, I love “tough darts”! So much nicer than “tough s#*t” yet it has the same impact… maybe better. I’m sorry your walk didn’t work out but your pictures are terrific. We have a sunny day here today after a few days of rain so maybe I should get out too. Thanks for the nudge.

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    1. Janis, I agree about “tough darts.” It’s like swearing but with a bit more flair. Yes, the walk was a bust but the light was perfect for photos so I took some. We were there, why not? Although in truth we had a nice time of it, wandering a little bit around the muddy messes.

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  11. Last time I visited my brother in Cleveland we went to a nearby park that had just been ravaged by a flash flood. I looked at that tiny creek, there in the flatlands and thought “Nah! How could that happen here?”

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    1. Eilene, tiny creeks are deceptive. They seem so benign, but given the chance they go big. Lesson learned about heeding closely what the weather forecasters talk about on the local news. I should have known better about this park. Oh well.

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  12. I love that last shot! Lots of personality!
    While I am sad you did not get the full benefits of healthful walk, I appreciate your adaptability in the matter.
    Tough darts is good. I like that.

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  13. Love seeing the ducks on your ducky walk. There isn’t much that will deter a duck, I have to say. We always see ducks at our lake house in the warmer months, even with our eagle-eyed and eagle-determined English setter afoot. Ducks enjoy taunting, did you know that?

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    1. Kate, I didn’t know that ducks taunted dogs. Ducks are cute in the general, but maybe less so in the specifics? I saw three ducks total on our walk which was great but about a gazillion less than are usually on this lake. Mixed feeling about this not walk.

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    1. Donna, the Noah’s Ark situation made me laugh out loud. I do loves me some good irony. Yes, while this wasn’t the walk I thought it’d be it was fun and productive in its own way. So win win.

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    1. Lynn, I knew I’d heard about flash flooding in parts of the city but it didn’t dawn on me that this particular park was in that area– until we got there and looked around. What a mess.

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  14. Hmmm WP ate my comment?
    Oh, well, enjoyed the link to Rita – She is/was fabulous in the movie. Everyone knew the lyrics and dances then. Curious about the update – with fingers crossed – sometimes I wish directors /Hollywood would stop redoing old movies and just write a new one – the plots/themes are universal and repetitive – come out with a new story/characters and leave the classics alone in context and memories.
    Had to chuckle over the ignorant use of Academy Spanish (from Spain) instead of Puerto Rican Spanish which is different from Cuban Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Argentine’Spanish, which is different from TX Mex Spanish, SW U.S. Spanish, Florida’s Spanish…good to get actual regional experts or do some serious research to avoid making fools of yourself and insulting people

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    1. philmouse, I’m sorry your comment vanished. I wish I knew why that happened to you, to me, to everyone– but it does.

      I wonder if the new version of West Side Story will be great or pathetic. That seems to be the fate of movies that are remade. There’s no middle ground.

      From high school I knew there was a difference btwn Spanish Spanish [old world] and Mexican Spanish [new world], but wasn’t aware of the other nuances you mention. I don’t hear Spanish spoken often around here, which is a shame because I like the cadences of it. I hope the movie gets the right regional accents with the right characters, on principle– as I’ll never know the differences.

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      1. I worked with international publishers/writers/US Spanish language communities for a long time…better get it right or else HAHA. Each regional/dialect group insists theirs is the “correct” Spanish. Each insists their choices of wording/meanings is the right one. Oy vey
        The sound of Spanish from Spanish or Argentina is very lyrical and musical. Mexico’s is harsher and more rapid (and makes my ears tired after a few hours)
        I just hope the plot and Romeo and Juliet style characters are the important things in the remake, not political messages…plain old entertainment would be so welcomed.

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        1. Interesting career you had there with the publishers. I must like & have heard Spain’s Spanish because the language I heard seemed musical to me.

          I agree with you. If you must remake an old movie then make it entertaining, not a diatribe about something modern. But we’ll see, won’t we?

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    1. Lacey, tough darts is the best, isn’t it? I’ve adopted it as my own and will be using if freely and frequently. Our Saturday wasn’t the walk we’d anticipated, but come to find out muddy surfaces in the sunlight photograph well. The things you learn!

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    1. Prior…, thank you for asking. I was just at the eye doc last week and I’m doing well. I use my drops, I wash my eyelids with baby shampoo, and I wash my face with a mild cleanser. Plus I take prescription omega fish oil. The combination is working great.

      I’ll have another BlephEx treatment in August which will be the 1 year anniversary of my first treatment. This is to be an annual event, as suggested by the doc and the company that makes the gadget.

      Again, thanks for asking. You’re sweet to remember.

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      1. Well that is good to know – and I love love learning about health and alternative ways to heal – and recently the eye topic has come up – my husband has the blue light blocker glasses from bullet proof – and there are cheaper ones my son has recently bought-
        Anyhow –
        Have you heard of lutein for eyes – and a thing called zeaxanthin isomers? Well I guess those are great for all things eyes (Retina – cones-rods) and the blend that I have had the omega 3 blend you mentioned (EPA, DHA, etc)

        Oh and what really brought you to mind (besides your nice comment sharing) was last week there was pink eye going around my FILs retirement center – well I did not know at the time – but got home after a visit and my eyes were irritated –
        And guess what?
        I used a trick I learned in the 1990s
        Made black tea bags (brewed with a little water) and let cool a little – places on eyes four times did his and relief within a couple hours

        The tannic acid in black tea (has to be black tea) can clean the eye and it can prevent conjunctivitis if caught early –
        If nitncaught early people might need the Medicince drops.
        Anyhow – I mention it cos it also helps to refresh eyes and black tea bags can help with so much –

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        1. Prior…, I like the idea of black tea bags on my eyes. It sounds healthy and doable and just a little bit silly. I’ve gotten pink eye and it’s nothing to mess with. I’m glad you treated yourself quickly so that you missed the opportunity to suffer from it.

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          1. Yeah I am soooooo glad I remembered the tea bags – and I was so tired but she t down and brewed the tea and did it.
            Oh and the other thing – big mistake on my part – was rubbing my eyes on and off for a couple days leading up to that- duh! Fingers and the eyes – all those germs from my hands likely did not help.
            Coconut oil after helped a little – but then I have “pure lanolin” and that assuaged all…..
            ☕️☕️

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