Maggies does not like the weather today at PumpjackPiddlewick

The weather simply won’t make up its mind. We’ve been enjoying a mild moment over the holidays. Then bright sunny skies has led to a fall in temperature and we are back to being cold, but with sun.

I am very curious what next week will bring. Even if it is freezing cold, I have hope as the days are getting longer already, which means we are that much closer to spring. My favourite season.

Life here in our little corner of the world is dictated to by the sunrise and sunset. Like all birds, ducks become very active at dawn. I can barely see the change in light as I write this, but I can hear Pi calling out from their bedroom that ‘surely, it must be time to get up!’ (Not quite yet little one.) They must wait until I can just see outside my window. Then I will make the daily trip down to release the little beasts.

On a rainy or very cold morning Maggie, with her entourage of George and Louis, heads straight from their bedroom into the courtyard, refusing to have anything to do with their duck enclosure. After all it’s ‘outside’, exposed to ‘the weather’, when there is the option of warmer and drier environs to be had in the courtyard and its outbuildings.

But, in the courtyard there are no ponds, only a shallow puddle to bathe in, if it’s been raining. And it is cobbled, so little dirt to forage amongst for bugs or worms. On a really wet day there may be some damp moss to play in, but sodden moss means rain and Maggie isn’t one for playing in the rain. So, ultimately, there is not much to do there. And ducks get bored easily. Consequently, I get lots of requests to come out and play.

On what we call Maggie days, days where she is fed up with the weather, or being a duck, she normally comes upstairs for a visit. She may climb the stairs herself, followed by her entourage. But more likely (as it is quite a hard climb for a little ageing duck) she will stand at the bottom and call up for me to come and get her.

Once inside, it’s a quick run around to all her favourite spots. A bath in the dog water bowl. More running around, and then a settle down on, or under, the sofa for a well deserved snooze. Being inside is obviously much more energetic than outside.

Our other ducks can’t wait to get outside, no matter the weather. Although they don’t like frozen grounds, as that makes digging for worms impossible. Sometimes they are so excited they even fly out of the barn. It’s a wonderful sight to see.

Duck’s aren’t the best flyers, and are really bad landers. Pi generally comes down and then tumbles end over end on landing. Beepbeep has perfected the ability to hover and drop, rather like a helicopter. As our Beep’s is essentially a blind duck, we think this new technique is to be certain she doesn’t fly into something (which she has done in the past).

And now dawn’s light has definitely arrived. It’s time to bring my musings to a close, shift a purring Lapsong from off my lap, and go see what the weather, and Maggie, will dictate today.

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