For some reason over the past few weeks, the ducks have decided I’m their person. They’ve always wanted me to pick them up at night, carry them to the coop and give them a scritch before putting them up for the night. But much like finicky cats, I had to chase them down to get all that done.
Now, they come to the patio door for treats, eat food out of my hands and often run over to me when I come outside (and OMG, watching those little legs running will brighten any day).
We are having a horrible raccoon problem and they also now see the dogs as their heroes, as they chase those meanies out of the yard.
Ducks sure make a yard cheery.
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Here, as they say, is the rest of the story.
Mabel and Maddie have been molting and stopped laying for a few weeks. We are back to eggs this week, but their regular schedule is a bit off. Usually, their eggs are waiting for me in the morning. But a few times this week, there would be one and later in the day, another.
A few days ago Maddie disappeared mid-morning to the nesting box. I thought to myself, I’ll have to remember to recheck it. I was working at the kitchen table (a change of pace from my office) and a while later, Maddie came up to the open patio door and started making a racket. And trust me, of the two, Maddie’s ability to make a commotion is unmatched by Mabel…or the Danes.
I asked her what she wanted and went out to make sure there weren’t any predators in the area. Then I remembered I was going to check the nesting box. Sure enough, she’d left me an egg (hers are whitish, Mabel’s are blue, and that brown egg is the fake egg I leave in the box). I recovered it and took it into the house. Maddie went about her day.
That’s when I realized she thought of me as the keeper of the eggs.
Ducks are very smart and creatures of habit. So, of course, she expected me to come and get her egg, I always do.
In the mornings I leave the patio door open enough for the cats to go in and out and get some backyard time. This morning, Mabel showed up to make it clear there were not enough cornflakes and cilantro in her life.
I remedied the situation.
I guess I should be glad she didn’t come on in and help herself. And don’t worry, Maddie was not far away, soaking in the sun and letting Mabel do the heavy lifting this a.m.
p.s. If you want to win the heart of any duck – cilantro is your key. And please don’t feed ducks, wild or domestic, bread. Very bad for them.
Mabel spent the morning like this, guarding her ball. Maybe she thinks it’s an egg? She didn’t even join Maddie when I brought breakfast out. She finally moved on, but she was there a good two hours.
It’s sleeting/snowing here right now. Not the best weather for the Rockies home opener.
I made a lemon/coconut cake over the weekend, I want to share that since I made some changes to the original recipe I use. And today is Scout’s 5 month birthday, so definitely want to get some photos up of her and Bixby. She’s getting so big, she’s almost out of her (Bixby’s old) 20 inch collar.
Bixby and his crew. Scout is doing great. She’s outgrown the scale here at home, so I’m not sure her weight this week – she was 42 lbs when the vet weighed her last week. She might almost be 50 lbs now. She got her first nail trim this week and did very well.
The ducks have had a couple of great days – it rained last night and they enjoyed wandering around playing in it – and this morning they got to dig around in a very muddy yard. I am happy to see that all the areas above have grass popping up everywhere. I may need to reseed a couple of areas, but off to a good start.
Scout loves her time outside. Bixby will be in snoozing on the couch and she’s happy to be out in the yard, curled up with a stick and contemplating her place in the universe. Or bothering the ducks.
Sometimes I can get them to sit still long enough to photograph together. But I can’t make them not blink at the same time. The vet and I had a discussion about Bixby’s red eye and it seems to be just allergies and irritation, not severe enough to warrant any additional intervention.
I love this one, they look so cute together, watching the neighborhood kids.
Bixby sure knows how to relax, doesn’t he?
Scout is no slouch at napping, herself.
That head and chest.
Power napping together. And as promised, bonus ducks, on a warmer day:
Winter decided to take another pass at us. It was almost 70 degrees yesterday…today, 15 degrees. I think the ducks would like me to do something about that. Don’t feel too badly for them – if they wanted they could hang out in their cozy duck hut, filled with lots of clean straw, food and water.
For those wondering if the ducks will be okay this winter, it’s 22 degrees out and they are in their pool. Although they have been spending more time sitting near the patio door – but I think that has more to do with their social nature. They just want to hang with their flock.
I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but Bixby is relishing his new job. Every morning he is first out the door to let the ducks out of the duck hut. If he had thumbs, I would be superfluous. He then inspects the morning eggs (we are getting 1-3 each morning), and despite his size and enthusiasm we have had no egg-tastrophes. Then in the evenings, he watches over us as I gather the ducks for bed.
The girls need their scritches! They love to be scratched and rubbed, on the chest and under their wings. Don’t forget the beaks!
We had scare a week or so ago – the Cooper’s Hawk I watched grow up this summer decided to not only go after Mabel and Maddie, but Zander, too! I chased him off, but he decided to stay in the tree next to our yard. That’s when I sent Bixby out with instructions to look after our girls. He was amazing, he stood near the ducks and when they moved around the yard, he moved with them, quietly standing guard. Love that dog.
Which is a good thing, because someone…and I’m not naming names (Bixby, Bailey) decided to leave me this surprise:
This happens frequently. Usually right after I have cleaned the bathtub.
Speaking of dogs I love, here is beautiful Bailey chillin’ in the yard. She has been here a year and has really blossomed in the last few weeks. And talk, man, does this dog love to talk.
Hopefully I’ll have a recipe post tonight. Until then….