This carving of a ruddy duck was made by Bob Havel, my soul-sister’s de facto father-in-law. The internet has this to say about Bob’s talent as a decoy artist:
From 1969 to 1976 he had 50 straight ribbon winners in the five major decoy contests in the U.S. In April of 1976, in the World's Decoy Contest in Salisbury Maryland, he had 7 birds entered and won 3 Firsts, 3 Seconds, 1 Third and Best of Show. He retired from competition in the late 1970's, having nothing left to prove.
He gradually expanded his decoy species to 15. Not only does he carve with an eye for detail in the feathers, form and head, he paints the bird so realistically that people often ask if it is a stuffed bird.
Aren’t decoys a lovely thing?