It was another cold one out there this morning. The ducks’ pond had about an inch of ice on top, and the rabbits’ bottles were frozen solid. The chilly temperatures bring out a special kind of beauty, though: as we walked, in the darkness, to retrieve the rabbits’ bottles, the flashlight shone on the frosted grass, which sparkled like it was bejeweled, crunching underfoot.
Ice we broke out of the pool yesterday morning still lay by the pool, frozen, like large shards of glass.
The crescent moon glowed softly, with a bright planetary body to its lower left. Plumes of breath floated before us. We relished the peaceful pre-dawn calm.
When we opened the chicken coop door to check for eggs, we noticed that one of the ducks, Coraline, had walked up the ramp into the coop and was checking out a nest box. And yes, the nest boxes are jumbo cat litter boxes – we built fancy wood ones that they wouldn’t use. One of the young hens actually laid under the wooden boxes, and there wasn’t much room under there! These boxes are easier to clean than wood, and roomier..which may be why Coraline decided to make herself comfortable in one. She apparently found the first one suitable, but spent some time rearranging the straw to make it “just right”. When we checked the nest boxes later, there was Coraline’s lovely, cream-colored egg (accompanied by a nice chicken egg). Smart girl! And she didn’t leave anything but the egg in the nest box.
We consider the chickens, ducks, and rabbits livestock, rather than pets, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate their charm and uniqueness. Coraline is a special duck – she’s always been more friendly than the other girls and is always willing to eat from your hand (especially bread). Here’s to hoping we can hatch some duck eggs soon…and maybe some will even have Coraline’s sweet personality.