Sunday, June 28, 2009

The incubator with Fuzzy's eggs.

An Egg-stra special adventure.

Our four ducklings grew quickly and were happy and content at their lake home. Blue was in heaven being the only male duck with three female ducks and he played his role as protector and warrior with gusto. The mallards that flew in from time to time were kept at bay with his vigorous attacks. The girls started nesting the second spring and it was interesting to see the places they chose to nest. Rue chose my neighbors yard to the south, Speedy decided to nest across the lake in the tall grass and sweet Fuzzy decided to nest across the busy street in the neighbor’s flowerbed.

The neighbors were delighted to have Fuzzy and promised to watch her close and try to help me with getting her safely across the street when she wanted food and water from the lake. It all went well for a couple of weeks.

Rue really never sit her nest just layed her eggs and went about business as usual. Speedy was very serious about her nesting. When she came off her nest for nourishment it was fast and furious and then back across the lake to take care of her eggs.

Fuzzy was really a good mom and took her nesting duties serious, but it was like watching a teenage mom torn between her nesting duties and wanting some fun time. I was only aware of her evening trips across the street to the lake and didn’t realize that she was crossing in the early morning darkness when the neighbors in their big SUV’s were heading off to work.

One morning I went out to check on Fuzzy and found her pretty much squashed in the street. She had tried to cross the street and had been struck several times. I frantically called my daughter Jamee to come over to give me help in disposing of her body. We dug a grave and buried her across the lake. Kalie and Tyler were right there with us helping and were very concerned about the eggs. We had no idea how long she had been off the nest and we knew keeping the eggs warm was critical.

Fortunately Kalie had gone through egg hatching 101 at school and knew just what to do. She suggested candling the eggs to see how far along the ducklings were and if they were alive. We determined that 14 eggs were alive and well and they were about 2 weeks into gestation. At that point Jamee took off to go buy an incubator to hatch the eggs. She came home with the incubator and the adventure was about to begin. We just hoped that the temperature of the eggs had not been too low for too long..

Friday, June 5, 2009

Moving on up to Edmond..

Moving from Queensgate to Cordillera Way was a fast, furious body aching move. However my new home (built by my great Nephew, Jeff Click Homes) was quite beautiful and unique and I fell in love with my new dwelling right away. The pond in the back was certainly not what I was used to but it was a pond after all.

As we settled into our new home I began to really miss the ducks and geese that had been such a fun part of my life. Soooo I decided to gather my daughter and her children and pay a visit to the feed store to see what we might find to paddle around on our Pond. (Meaning ducks of course)
We were in luck! We returned home with 4 sweet baby ducks. The owner of the feed store wrote down the type of ducks they were but we soon forgot the names and truly loved the sweet babies and were amazed at how much trouble baby ducks could be in the process of getting them big enough and smart enough to dodge all the predators that would love nothing more than to make a nice meal of a tasty little duckling. With no mom to teach them all the things they needed to survive, we became fully responsible to keep them safe from the hawks, owls, turtles, cats and all the critters that roam around looking for food at night. Domestic ducks after all, cannot fly so they are really in danger.
A hawk waiting for his prey from my back fence.

An owl checking out the area.

Fuzzy, Speedy, Blue and Rue became the center of attention for quite a few weeks as we took care of our four babies. They were housed in the garage at night and in a safe pen in the back yard during the day. I bought them their own little plastic swimming pool to play in until they could be taken to the pond for their first adventure. It became evident all too soon that they were a full time job. We would gather them up in a little container and carry them to our lakehouse when we went for the weekends. They were well traveled ducks. I was indeed their mom.

Rub a dub dub four ducks in a tub

Growing and loving the lake moss.

Still love our baby food from mom.

They were at last feathering out and we had hope that soon they could be freed to the pond area on their own. Each day we would herd them down to the pond to a small pen placed half in the water and half on shore and let them play and get used to the lake water safe from harm. They were truly innocent and full of fear of everything new. At last they were ready and eager to be free and it came time to turn them loose and just hope they stayed safe. Ok so I went out in the night several times to check on them. They were smarter than I thought. They made it just fine.

Full grown and beautiful. Rue, Fuzzy, Speedy and Blue.

Till next time, Lisa