I first discovered and blogged about a drainage ditch with duck decoys back in 2018, then wrote a followup post in 2019. After a pandemic year interval, I headed north again, and found a huge increase in the number of painted decoys (photo above).
There was no town nearby in which to make inquiries, so I had to wait until getting back from my vacation - but then I was rewarded with the discovery of a Minnesota television station's report on this phenomenon. The video is done in the style of Steve Hartman's "On the Road" segments for CBS News. This turns out not to be an "art installation" - let's just call it a "whimsy."
I invite you to take 3 minutes to watch this video report. I guarantee it will be the most cheerful item you encounter on the internet today.
Addendum 2021: I stopped to visit the ditch ducks on my way north last week. Looks like there are a couple more than last year -
It's one of the high points on my trip, and a cheerful sight - especially when you know the backstory in the video.
Addendum 2023: The ducks are still there -
- although the stress of migration appears to have been too much for one of them:
And I see the site is now well-documented on Google Maps:
Lots of photos [better than mine] at the Google Maps site. Visitors should note that there is crude, off-road, parking several hundred yards north of the ditch - much safer than parking on the shoulder of the highway.