Here at Red Dirt Farm, Magnolia blooms and sweet honeysuckle are perfuming the humid air. Fireflies are lighting the night skies. It is as one expects it to be this time of year. Although, the Magnolia blooms aren’t as heavy as normal, perhaps because of a late frost. Once again, our routine, which is never a completely normal routine has been turned on its side by the arrival of an unexpected little package.
Last night I woke in the night, I had to go, so I made my way to the bathroom, where the temporary door that separates the addition from the old section of the house, had popped open. We keep it closed to keep the construction dust to a minimum, as well as keeping the cool air in the old part of the house. Quietly so as not to wake Mr. Cottage, I made my way over to the very dark, middle of the night, Gee, I hope there aren’t any spooks lurking – addition going into the someday master bedroom, and out onto the back porch. It was so still and silent out. I stood on the porch looking all around me, high in the night sky, what seemed to be a thousand fireflies were dancing and lighting the air. It was so magical.
Daytime not so magic.
I was sitting on the glider that is on the patio when I looked over and saw this fella getting ready to come on the patio. He got a little closer to me than I was comfortable. Hell, he could have been 50 yards away and that would have been too close. I encouraged him to go away.
Our dog, Peanut.
Memorial weekend, I was preparing to call our vet office on Tuesday when they re-opened from the holiday weekend. Our senior rescue dog, Peanut who has an inoperable tumor on her saliva gland, had stopped eating and was sleeping all the time. She was really out of it and seemed to be in pain. It appeared I needed to make an intervention on her behalf. No matter how much I had prepared myself that this was coming, I was horribly heartbroken and didn’t want to let go. However, I felt I had to do the right thing by her. Tuesday morning rolled around, and she seemed to be a little more alert. Then she started sneezing with lots of blood coming out. This couldn’t be good. She kept sneezing blood. Then she started wagging her tail and doing her happy dance. The sneezing stopped and so did the bleeding. She was hungry and wanted to eat. She ate a big breakfast and went on a walk with me through the yard checking out all her favorite spots. Seems her time isn’t up just yet.
Later Tuesday morning, a neighbor called me. Over the holiday weekend, he and his wife found a wee duckling had gotten stuck in their window well. They rescued the duckling and looked for several days for a nest and the mom, with no luck. My neighbor wanted to know would I take it in. Without hesitation, or asking Mr. Cottage, I said yes. I’ve wanted ducks for some time now, however, Mr. Cottage does not want me to take on any more animals now.
The little package was delivered.
I had done a little research about ducks, hoping to someday have some, so I knew the basics that were needed. I also know that it would be best if the duckling had companions. Everything I read and everybody I talk to about it, keep telling me, ducks need companions. After letting the little duckling have a day to settle in here, I took it back to Doris Day, our broody hen with 3 new chicks. I hoped she would take the little duckling and raise it. She didn’t reject it immediately, so I was feeling hopeful. The duckling was so excited to be around other birds, it wanted a family. As the day progressed, she became increasingly more aggressive towards it, until finally, I feared for the safety of the poor thing.
I brought it back in the house. I kept it in a box with a heating plate used for chicks, food, water and then a little water to play in. It was happy with the little pan of water, but I felt it needed something bigger. I went to the store and purchased a plastic storage tub since they didn’t have any of those plastic kiddy pools.
I brought in a rock from the garden (to make it easy for the duckling to get in and out and a resting spot) and a handful of pond plants from our Koi pond and added them to the plastic pond/tub. And now we have one happy, Lucky Duck.
As usual, the house pets have taken it all in stride and are being accepting of a duck in the house. And Peanut, who was on death’s door a week ago, is feeling young and maybe wants to play with that little duckling. Or have duck soup, I’m not sure which. Either way, it is good to see Peanut so happy again. I’m reading everything I can about raising ducklings, for now, Lucky is living in our living room. Lucky gets to wander around the living room and kitchen under our supervision and at night he goes back to his box. Mr. Cottage says if I raise it so that it is healthy enough to fly off some day, I’ve done a good thing. If Lucky decides to stay with us, that will be ok too. We believe Lucky is a Mallard.
Thank you for being here today.
Red Dirt Farm
PS – I’m having trouble with my WordPress, can’t seem to get the spacing correct for whatever reason – sorry if this layout looks weird.