Logic? But… Ducklings!!!

There are a slew of logical reasons why having animals is a pain in the behind and no sane person should ever want to keep a menagerie like we have.

But yesterday I got to wake Clara and Jane up by introducing them to a baby duck that hatched overnight.

And then today, my birthday, another hatched.

Logic and sanity be dammed…

…raising animals is the best!

 

 

D is for… Dabbling Duck

This weather is for the birds ducks!

Today it “snowed”.

And by “snowed” I mean that the rain turned to suspiciously thick rain, turned to sleet, turned to giant clumps of snow that disappeared into the puddles and the mud on the ground.

For awhile it looked like soggy kleenex was falling from the sky.

Yeah, “Yuck,” is what I thought too.

It’s a good thing I have ducks so I can see something appreciate this kind of weather!

 

 

I am photo blogging through the alphabet this month with…

Foraging

The computer is working!

For now…

Having a computer that sort of, kind of, sometimes works is both more useful than one that does nothing at all and infinitely more frustrating.

But, it’s working now and so quick before it crashes I give you….

A duck!
Ancona duck

Not just any duck, this little lady came to me all the way from Washington State and will, if all goes well, be the mama to some new fluffy ducklings come spring.

Actual spring that is, not this 60 degree February nonsense that’s been going on the last week.

The ducks (and the geese and the chickens) have all enjoyed getting out and foraging in this ridiculous weather.  But despite hearing the siren song of spring myself on these last few warm days,  I’m not believing it. I see freezing temperatures in the forecast and no matter how nice that sun feels or how excited I am for fluffy new arrivals – it’s still February.

And there will be no duck babies until real spring arrives!

 

 

Caged!

 

Ducklings, goslings and children all move.

A lot.

But, if you build a 20 duckling, 2 gosling, 3 kid cage, you can photograph them all at the same time!

ducklings, goslings and kids

Remarkably even when you stick these 25 creatures in one small cage, you still get a very good sense of all their individual personalities.

Ivy, is seriously working on socializing the ducklings, she is busy, and can not smile for the camera.

Clara is willing to grin for the camera but will not stop doing what she had been doing, in this case plucking bits of greenery from the floor of the cage to hand feed to the birds.

Jane, of course, abandons all pretense that she was ever doing anything else to make silly faces at the camera.

Meanwhile, the ducklings, observed only by Ivy, are in a slight panic. But only a slight panic, because there is also water in their midst and, as all ducklings know, all water needs to be thrown on the ground immediately.

The goslings are boldly investigating. We are new to geese, but so far bold investigation seems to be their thing!

And, at the rate all 25 of them are growing, this is likely to be the only picture I ever get of them all together.

Happy Animals

I like to keep my animals happy.

I let my chickens range free, I open their mobile coop door in the morning so they may roam about all day and I lock them up at night to keep them safe. Except when I introduce new young chickens to the daily routine. Then I open the coop door every morning and crawl under the chicken coop catching and counting chickens every night. Those silly young birds take awhile to figure out that even if you can see your friends above you, there is no getting through the wire floor, you just have to use the door. Eventually they will figure it out. young AmericanaUntil then I figure that when I find myself under the chicken coop on one knee other leg extended for balance, one elbow on the ground because that hand is already holding a chicken stretching as far as I can for a second bird, well, that’s just an excellent ab hold.DSCN2973-(sm)

These chicken induced exercises will be slightly amusing to me for about a week and then I will be second guessing my “let’s have happy chickens” philosophy.

I also try to keep my dog happy. He’s my dog, I love him. So I let him out to run around outside with me whenever I’m out. The other day he scrummaged around in the woods for ten minutes while I watered plants. Ten minutes and he came back, muddy, wet, tired, hot, limping on a hind leg and smelling like he rolled in something much deader than than the freshly caught chipmunk he proudly gave me. happy Trip dogBut happy? Oh was he happy!Happy Trip dog

Me, I was second guessing my “let’s have happy dogs” philosophy.

I just got a pile of little ducklings and a pair of goslings. And so, because it’s been so nice out, I made them a little wire pen they can be outside in during the day in the front yard. I put the goslings in and they munched on leaves and grass and looked oh so happy. I put the ducklings in and they nibbled and explored, chased bugs and happily popped right out through the  holes in the wire. I then spent the next two hours babysitting my new babies and herding the occasional duck back in the pen while trying to think what else I had around that I could patch the holes up with. DSCN3067-(2sm)The shade was a perfect temperature with just a hint of a breeze, the grass was nice and soft and the little birds were endlessly entertaining.Ancona duckling

I’m pretty sure “lets have happy ducklings and goslings” is my favorite philosophy!

 

And Then There Were Six

Ancona ducks in the snowThere are risks to letting the birds free-range during the day.duck feather in the snow

Two ducks disappeared.duck feather in the snow

Nothing was left of them but a few feathers in the falling snow.duck feathers in the snow

There are risks.drake ancona in the snow

But I like to think it’s about the quality of life.Ancona ducks in the snow

Between the legions of furry, sharped-toothed animals and the freezer, many of our ducks won’t live long. But they’ll all live well.

Ancona ducks in the snow

And that makes all the difference.

For those of you who have been wondering, the ducks do fine in the winter. They always can go in and out of their house and on very cold sunny days they usually sit inside soaking up the rays coming through the windows. But, as you can see, even when it’s snowing, they’d rather be outside. 

Winter is Coming

They say winter is coming.

The area is full of winter storm warnings, dire predictions and people shivering at the mere thought of snowy weather arriving.

duck sleeping in leaf pile

Napping in the autumn sun.

But not me.

I’ll welcome the true winter weather when it comes.

Unfortunately, I suspect we are heading into nothing more than the transition period. The time of cloudy days and freezing temperatures with no snow but plenty of frozen puddles and icy mud patches that precedes real winter. duck in leaf pileI hope I’m wrong. Maybe winter will show up for good tonight.

We’ve been spoiled by a long fall of gorgeous weather but it’s about time for a little cold. It may come with beautiful snowfalls and freezing temperatures or it may be a month of slush, but I’ve got my warm fire and a pile of books to read.

I’m ready!

Update: It’s snowing!!! It may all melt tomorrow but first snow is always magic!