A north wind has been blowing through here and yesterday evening it began to snow. This morning I woke up to a white world. So it was quick out of bed to go and see our ducks first time in snow. It’s always a memorable experience.
Maggie and George, who have taken to sleeping in the house when the weather turned colder, were taken outside first. The courtyard is free of snow. So if I know Maggie, that is where she will stay for the rest of the day. She is not keen on snow. Or rain. Or cold. She is a real fair weather duck.
On down to the duck enclosure to let out the rest of our ducks for their morning ramble. Lots of ‘let us out know!’ greeted me.
Door open, and it was bedlam as to who could get out first. A typical morning. And then they stopped.
The young ducks were not quite sure what to make of this cold white stuff. They had never seen snow before. Ducks don’t like change, so there was much discussion. And many footprints.
And then everyone sat down to ponder this new world.
Except for Betty and Boop, our two young mallard girls. They are always up for an adventure. Egging each other on. And always noisy with it. It was straight up on to the dirt mound for a look around. Talking a mile a minute in excitement.
Our young call ducks were much more tentative. There was much tasting. And slow steps. Luckily this was only a dusting of snow. Barely a couple centimetres (an inch) deep. It wasn’t difficult to walk on.
But it was wet. And cold. Ewwww, they thought. Quick back into the safety of the duck enclosure! As the enclosure has trees throughout it remains snow free. Familiar territory, phew.
You may not know, but ducks have no nerve endings in their feet. It’s how they can withstand cold temperatures. But they do feel the cold. So when confronted with it, they will sit and use their feathers to keep their feet warm. Like having a duvet blanket through over them.
The thing about ducks is they are curious folks. It wasn’t long before the young ducks were once again peeking their bills outside of the enclosure. They ventured forth again to test out this new world. And then, headed straight for the courtyard where there wasn’t any snow. Safe again!
As for the older, worldly wise ducks. They took their time adventuring forth. They generally stand back from the melee at the gate, letting the exuberance of youth sally forth first. This morning was no different.
They had a little wander about. Sat down. Contemplated. And went back into the enclosure. Rather like humans, the older ducks prefer to watch the children play in the snow than get wet and cold themselves.
And should you be on the lookout for duck and other animal inspired gifts – you’ll find quite a few in our shop.