“Louisiana Mardi Gras”…Mottled Ducks!


Serious waterfowlers like to collect different types of not so common species of ducks. Mottled ducks seemly fit into this category. They are waterfowl indigenous mostly along the inland Gulf Coast marshes and swamps of the southern United States and at times can be easily confused with black ducks or even hen mallards. 

I love Louisiana! I like all the United States, but I love Louisiana. Maybe because it has so much for the sportsman, or as an artist, it affords me so much painting inspiration. This is one of my favorite calls of “The North American Collection”! Depicting an Atchafalaya swamp with an old hunting shack, mottled ducks are native year-round resident here. Life in the swamp is simple. A rusted metal roof tries its best to protect a creaky weathered wooden hunting shack, lit only with lanterns, and heated with an old stove pipe wood stove, a precariously hung sign on the porch states he doesn’t want you there. Perhaps it could be the sack of corn for duck baiting sitting on it? His southern roots are proudly on display with his Confederate flag! One can also observe the jug of moonshine, an old worn wash tub for clothes and even a nutria pelt is hung up to dry.  Fishing must be good as fishing floats; a minnow bucket and seines hang from the walkway around the side. Behind the shack the privy or outhouse is marked with its tell-tale moon carved in it!  The Atchafalaya basin is dominated by old Cyprus trees and this nook of the swamp is no exception. Cascading down from their limbs Cyprus moss gives off an eerie sense as it turns rusty orange and yellow in the fall. But in all, life is good in this rural setting. Deep in the bountiful marsh most everyone is feasting. The heron enjoys a bull frog while one of the mottled ducks’ snacks on a crawdad. The alligator even has his eye out for a quick meal and with the sign on the tree warning of it. You may want to keep an eye on him! The mottled ducks, male and female are mostly identical in appearance except for the bills. The drakes are usually a deep yellow and the hens typically an orangish color with black spotting. Coloring of the feather distinguishes them more from black ducks as mottled ducks seemingly are more burnt orange and more widely tipped with the burnt orange coloring than black ducks who’s coloring tends to be more towards the tan hue and less heavily tipped.

The insert contrasts the simple, live off the land, rural life in the swamp to the glitz and glamour of New Orleans and Mardi Gras night life. On the insert, we observe stunning Mardi Gras face wear. A peacock feather endowed, two toned, black and white party mask along with a simpler, elegant, white, accented with sparkling glitter, purple and red feathered adorned mask. The jester is the life of the party with his glitter lined colorful hat and hanging shiny brass bells, a multi-color glittered collar with brass bells as well, all the while exhibiting a brightly colorful, garish, glitter embellished character mask. Of course, Louisiana would not be complete without its queen! I have carved Marie Laveau’s image complete with a coral snake, beaded bone necklace, bright gold loop earrings and a white turban headwear! Iridescent Mardi Gras beads accent the remainder of the call all set in front of the kings jeweled gold crown! Last and by no means least, a cottonmouth or water moccasin stands guard and separates the two worlds, be careful as your cross!        

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

I so hope you enjoy!

Joe Bucher


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review ““Louisiana Mardi Gras”…Mottled Ducks!”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *