Sunday, June 28, 2009

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..