Ducks….I was out by the pond, having lunch, watching the ducks. I love ducks. There are all kinds of ducks but the duck that comes to mind for me is the ‘regular’ duck: this is actually a Mallard. I thought Mallard meant the male species of the ‘regular’ duck (tsk, tks city girl). A male is called a ‘drake’.
The female Mallard is called a hen: she is shown here stealing a short nap (like any female from a hard days work raising kids, grocery shopping, cleaning the house and, oh, her full time job at the local corporate pond).
She will eat 300 invertebrates (meaning no back bones: insects, worms, clams, crabs, octopus, snails and starfish) in eight hours in order to lay one egg a day up to 10 days. Her eggs (clutch), will hatch a month later and all within 12 hours (said to speak to each other while still in the egg, called "pipping," they seem to understand the mother's need for them to hatch together (I am sure that my children have some sort of communication between each other that is similar. The youngest at 16 knows that he must be as mature as the oldest at 25. He has witnessed all the mistakes his older brothers have made and is not allowed to repeat them. This comes across as more mature for his age than the others, however I still have "the look." You mom’s know--that look without speaking that gets across all that is necessary. (My look is still all powerful).
The average duck can dive up to 80 ft for food and the Emperor Penguin has been recorded at 1770 ft. down (I mentioned this to my husband and his responded “that’s why he is called the Emperor”. I laugh at the "guy" comments he makes. After all, "he" is a guy and yes, "he" is really smart etc. And I can truly appreciate his assumption that only male Emperor Penguins dive 1770 ft. The females do the diving also and both participate in the raising of young penguins (I saw the movie). The difference for me is the raising of the "regular" ducklings. Like the majority of female species, the female duck is the caretaker (with few exceptions). This is a good thing as I am quite certain that if my husband had been the original caretaker our children would have been living on an island, alone by 7-years-old with just as much drama as Lord of the Flies (our brood has all aspects of the human character). Getting the last word, my husband said “perhaps the drama would ensue but until then they would have mastered the art of survival and possibly would know how to do their own laundry." Of course he does not get the last word and they ALL do their own laundry (if a man’s in the woods alone with no one to hear and he says something, is he still wrong?).
There are 1200 muscles in the skin of a duck to direct it’s feathers. It can fly straight up for about 30’ before angling horizontally. The average duck will fly 800 miles to migrate in 8 hours with a tail wind. This is fascinating to me in that the whole duck family flies together with lots of other duck families to migrate. Once they return they will separate to different lakes, ponds etc. I suspect the reason we don’t get returning ducks to our pond is that we have no clams, crabs, octopus, snails and starfish. Not to mention the last visitor to our pond was an otter that ate our ducks.
We have 3 ducks right now in the pond. No otter. They seem happy if not bored with the lack of food choice.
There is so much to know about nature and I love the opportunity to interact or at least watch nature on the farm then jump on the internet to learn about what I am seeing. It is also a place to find a peaceful moment, to unwind, remind myself that the world we live in is beautiful, nurturing and needs us to protect it. Remember that as members you can have this experience anytime you wish. Come sit at the pond. You are always welcome here!
And thanks for being members, buying our food, spreading the word, offering up suggestions, volunteering when we have a needs. It is a critical part to protecting our world.
Your ‘quacky’ Farmer.
P.S. Duck tape. OMG is actually "duct" tape. It made perfect sense to me to be ‘duck’ tape. Ducks have oily feathers to keep them dry and warm and "duck" tape can be used outside withstanding rain. I have used "duck" tape for all kinds of things over the last five years on the farm and no one has ever told me it was "duct" tape. I even used the "duck" tape to fix the dryer duct. I have done "duct" work. The point is, is that when I ask where the "duck" tape is, no one has ever corrected me and almost always hands it over. The communication works. Let’s hear it for "duck" tape!