Jemima seemed most fitting to name our latest feathered friend. She waddled into our lives one morning about three weeks ago. Shy, yet trusting and friendly like Beatrix Potter’s Jemima Puddle Duck, she has let us hand feed her and even give her a cuddle, and she stops, holds her head in a way looking at us that suggests she is listening to us chat to her.
Loving a handful of grain in a watermelon rind
Drinking water inside hen coop
Breakfast is over
Time to waddle back to the stream
We think she is an escapee, that being from our neighbour’s duck pond across our stream where hundreds of ducks of different breeds live. Bruce happens to like ducks and geese. What child has not loved listening to Beatrix Potter’s stories about garden and farmyard animals being read to them? When they were little, I used to take my grandsons to scatter grain at feeding time. It is fun to stand in the middle of the noisy rush of quacking and honking birds, like a big city rush hour which I no longer miss..
In the relaxed way things happen here, one day, we will wander over to Bruce and ask if he is missing a duck. His answer will be laconic and he will not know or even worry that Jemima has herself a new home. Bruce took on six ducks recently because their owner could no longer care for her pets. Jemima is probably from that small flock. She is earning her keep and is doing a great job scooping up the bugs and slugs in my garden. For now, Jemima can sleepover at our place and be one of the poultry girls.
Twenty months have slipped by since I penned my last post. I had good intentions to write weekly. Life got in the way. Himself had a cardiac event that triggered a string of interventions. Life takes on a new perspective. It is a great blessing to have a good neighbour. Neighbour’s very old farm dog tried to get into the ambulance with Himself after he collapsed in the paddock. A few wise woofs to the ambo crew from an old dog who’d seen it all before when Neighbour suffered a similar situation a year previously.
In our absent-mindedness, Neighbour grazed his animals in our paddocks. Green dollars exchange is to be commended. He repaired flood-damaged fences and applied worm fertiliser to the pastures. And so the rural routines carried on at our place. And nature ignored the human situation. Tress grew. Rain fell. Garden weeds thrived. The moon waxed and waned. The sun rose and shone. Himself and I have been lucky. We did as prescribed for post-cardiac surgery. I say ‘we’ – it’s a team effort. Life continues. We’re getting back into our routines and are about to tackle some big jobs. I’ll write about these over time.
Meanwhile, chickens. It’s Ag Day at the end of this month at our grandson’s school. Chickens rule the roost . Master 7 year-old chose the day-old chicken raising project. Brown Shavers. So cute. Because the nights are a bit cool yet and they are only three weeks old, they’re still overnighting in a cage inside our house. Last two or three days have been warm so the chicks have enjoyed time outside in the coop. It is well netted to the cat’s chagrin. The adult hens and rooster are most curious. Chickens without a mother hen.
Gardening and nature is therapy and gives strength. To my special delight, bees are working the borage and other spring blossoms in my garden.