March 27th, 2011
This piece should really be titled a day in the life of two ducks and it begins in the dark of the duck house sometime before 8 am. As it gets light around 7.30 probably before then, but it is hard to tell as I am not there at that time. I only see the results when I go to let the girls out around about 8. There they are the two eggs, laying in the nest snug and close, sometimes with a few feathers arranged on the top, sometimes almost buried in the hay. Hidden, you might say. I often wonder about the way the girls lay their eggs and long to borrow David Attenborough’s web cam so I can see wether they both sit together on the nest and lay them next to each other or if one duck does it and then the other one thinks, ‘Well, thats a good idea, perhaps I should go over there and do one of those too!’ Whatever way it happens in the dark of night, when I go to let out the girls -there they usually are!
Of course, getting let out into the back garden is a very exciting event for a duck and there is a great deal of quacking and tut tutting while they patter across and through the back gate to the safety of the back yard where I can keep an eye on them from the kitchen window. Sometimes they will head under the lemon tree or down into the sunken garden to see what delights they may find in and under the mulch. Other days they head for the little paddle pool for a bit of a wash. But whatever they decide to do first up -they move as one. Chattering to each other all the time.
You can learn quite a lot from watching ducks. If for example they are feeling a little nervous, or unsure of themselves the best thing to do is to take a drink of water. This usually makes them feel much better, more in control. Of course, being ducks some of the things they do don’t make any sense at all, but then quite often the things we humans do also make little sense. For example, if they are really scared, maybe the cat next door is close by or somebody visiting me heads out into my back yard to ‘see’ the ducks, they stop what ever they are doing and stretch out their necks and stay very still. I understand the staying still part, but they neck thing seems a little risky when you think about it.
Duck days are really busy, but there is always time for a little nap after lunch. This is best to be had on some warm grass or if the weather is a little chilly, with a bit of a wind on the back door step. And it is very upsetting for a duck when some human should want to use said step to get out of the house during nap time. Ruffled feathers indeed! After the nap it is more of the same, but very, very busy at it! Later in the afternoon, they have a bit of a confrence and decide that it is time to go to the duck house and time to let the human [thats me] know by doing a great deal of quacking. And so, the day ends. Another day in the life of a duck!