8.23.2013

Duck Happenings

Oh, how I miss my farmgirls! Taking care of 42 animals each morning isn't nearly as delightful when you're on your own. I keep wondering if they could just skip all this school and homework business...or maybe just go to school three days a week and boycott homework. Wouldn't they turn out just fine with all the real life lessons on the farm? {Crazy thoughts from a once overzealous school girl who prized academic excellence above all else.}


One of the things I miss about having the girls here {aside from their help} is that there's no one to witness the glories of everyday life with me. So here I sit, sharing these little wonders on the blog...where my farmgirls will get to see them with you.

This week's glory belongs to the ducks. We started with 10 surprise ducklings in February and are down to three. The losses have been hard for sure, but the Mallards have filled us with so much wonder that we decided to buy 13 more a few weeks ago.

No matter how many we've had, they always stick together, so it's easy to do a head count each morning.

One, two, three.

But this week, as I do the morning headcount...

...there are only two.
{Their sideways stares crack us up!}

When I see one missing, my first thought is always predator. I wasn't in the mood to walk the entire pasture in search of feathers, so I started looking around the back yard. The chickens and ducks have been wandering out of the fence line the last few weeks, and I've seen them in the brush, so that's where I started. {They're getting brave. This morning, our male Mallard was on the back porch right at our door!}

I walked a circle around the first patch of brush and didn't see anything. But then I walked around again, this is what I saw:

Do you see her in there?

I almost missed her! Isn't amazing how perfectly camouflaged she is? I've always wondered why God gave the males all the beauty with their green heads and silvery feathers while the females were just blah and brown. But now I get it! God made the female that way so that she could disappear while sitting on her nest. Otherwise, she'd be a "sitting duck" who makes the perfect target for predators! 

When she left the nest,
I went back to see what I could see...

Hidden behind the thorns...



Truth be told, the eggs weren't this visible. I moved a few leaves and twigs aside not knowing that she intentionally covers them each day after she lays. {Thank you, Google, for teaching me about the nesting habits of Mallards! I won't mess with those twigs again!}

Here's how her nest looks this morning:


Can't see a thing unless you lean in real close:

And even then, only a hint of an egg and a duck feather.

I can't help but wonder if this girl will be a mama...


We have no idea if these eggs are fertile or not, but it's possible. We've seen some mating action. {It's a little rougher than I imagined.} But it's not exactly springtime, so who knows. Learning as we go and leaving her "clutch" of eggs alone just in case there are babies in there.

Happy Weekend, sweet friends!

11 comments:

  1. Hey Linsey,
    I went to try and reply back to you on FB and I think you may be taking a little break. :) I do that from time to time. I would love to sit and chat with you soon. We have literally arrived at the end of the first week of school on fumes. I have no idea how we are going to do it again next week, but hoping God will give us enough grace to do it. I can barely lift my head off the pillow today, but usually it's temporary. I may even look you up in the school family book if that ok. :) Talk soon
    Ashley Sweeney

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    1. I'm deactivating my FB account for now and just focusing my writing and photo sharing time here on the blog. Too many distractions for me on FB. :) But I thought of you and knew that we could connect through school. I love that place, but we're whooped over here, too. ENJOY the blessing of a weekend!

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  2. I so love "living" this farm life with you. Thanks for sharing what fills your days and your heart.

    I can't wait to see what happens with those eggs. Waiting patiently with you......

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  3. Linsey,

    I am loving your farm posts... you seem to be in such a peaceful place. I long for that and to slow down as well. I have been feeling exactly the same as you about school, homework and especially sports - school and travel. I just want to be home with my family and sloooow down!

    Thank you so much for sharing your farm life and teaching us new things! I would and could have some of the same animals - especially the chickens, but our property is so near the woods - we have constant predators and it would be so risky. I have thought about it a hundred times...

    Take care and have a wonderful weekend with your family!

    Angela

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  4. Another great post! Love the photos as well as the darling story. Have a great weekend Linsey!

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  5. So, so sweet. Two of my silkie hens went broody a few weeks ago but we don't have a rooster so I had to break them of it. I put ice in the nesting box so she wouldn't want to sit in there and darn if she didn't roll her tiny little egg away from the ice with her beak. It was so cute and so sad at the same time because I knew her efforts were in vain. Hopefully one day I can see my girls be momma birds.

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  6. Hmmm, you may end up with more ducks than you anticipated. Duck eggs for breakfast?

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  7. I always try to comment while reading your blog on my Ipad at night but for some reason it never allows my comments to go through. I'm on my laptop today so I can leave a comment! Yay! I love, love, love all your posts. I was just reading an interesting article from a nutritionist and found that duck eggs are much better for you than chicken eggs because they are alkaline to the body vs. chicken eggs which are acidic. Who knew?
    Best,
    Amanda - Love This Life

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    Replies
    1. Wow, Amanda, I've never heard that about duck eggs before! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see if these hatch!

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    2. And by the way, great to hear from you again! I need to check in on your house! I know it must be beautiful!!!

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  8. How fun that you are a farm girl!

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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