I have been a little busy recently. There have been many changes at the homestead.
In March, I acquired some more ducklings! I was very excited to add some more hens to the family! Ducklings are very difficult to keep alive! They are also very messy. I had a few fatalities within the flock. Unbeknownst to me, ducklings drown very easily. Even in an inch of water in a water bowl! So that saying “like a duck to water” is not necessarily accurate. As sad as it was to lose a few little babies, it is all a learning curve – right?
I’ll try to get the sad news out of the way first though. Not only did I lose a few ducklings but we had an abduction over night in March. 2 weeks after I got the new babies, I was on facetime to my parents back in the UK. I went outside on the front porch to show them the progress I was making on the pond. Now, usually when I go outside the three adult pekin ducks start going bonkers. “Honk, Honk, Honk, feed us human!” they all shout. Well, I realized pretty quickly that it was eerily silent outside and the ducks were no where to be seen, I quickly hung up on my parents and went to investigate. I wasn’t greeted by the three loud ladies, they had completely disappeared. Not a feather insight, just hundreds of small dog foot prints in the mud and clay. It quickly became apparent that during the night, a pack of coyotes had found my ducks, jumped over the fence and carried away all three ladies in the dead of night. i had never seen or heard coyote in this part of town before, so I was very shocked. I was also more confused that they had managed to do this without detections on the motion cameras outside.
I guess this is a big part of owning livestock. It’s always sad, but I had my new babies to take care of and protect!
Ducklings grow exceptionally fast. After a few weeks I realized that I needed to the pond completed ASAP because these guys were going to need to be out on the “lake” in a matter of a month of so. That’s if they know how to swim by then!!!!! So that is where I have been these past few months! Trying to get the pond ready to hold water. It has been a long and arduous process. I still have some leaks that I am figuring out but for the most part, it’s almost complete. The ducks are out and enjoying their freedom!
Pond have been an important part of my life since childhood. I grew up catching newts and tadpoles and watching them grow. I would wake up with my Grandad at weekends and watch the dragonfly nymphs climb up a reed and out of the water. We’d watch them miraculously turn into beautiful dragonflies before our eyes. The dragonflies would emerge from the shell body of the nymph and flip backwards to escape the evil looking creature they had been for years before. Their wings would be cloudy and green but they’d dry them out in the sun and over a few hours they’d turn transparent and all of a sudden, you’d blink and they’d fly away to find a mate! Nerdy? Maybe a little. But it is because of memories such as these, that I wanted to put a pond here at the cabin and dedicate it to those happy memories. My brother made a pond (without my parents permission) before he passed away. My grandad who instilled our love of nature and ponds, smuggled him a liner, pond plants etc so he could build it. I recall the day we began digging…. Dad was snoring away on the other side of the hedges, turning tomato red in the deck chair, while we dug the hole and began making the pond. After he passed away, my parents decided to add on an addition to the pond and then run a waterfall between the two. They then had a plaque put up with ‘Philip’s pond’ above the waterfall. Unfortunately the plaque fell apart after all this time and my parents moved house. Not sure what became of his pond back at Norman Avenue, but I decided he can have a new plaque, here in Waxhaw. The wildlife will be a little different and include a couple of ducks but I know he’d love his name by a pond again.
I am excited to show you the progress of the pond as I go. It needs to establish, stop leaking and be planted with more pond side plants and duck safe foliage but it’s definitely taking shape!
Not only have I been working on the pond, raising ducklings and making plaques, but I have also been working on my vegetable garden! Photos of that to come later!!!!