Jan 13, 2016

Winter - Being Cooped Up Together

Winter - Being Cooped Up Together
The last few days have been more seasonal, with night temperatures in the teens Farenheit, and days sometimes above freezing, sometimes not.

The mildest day lately was also rainy. Today was sunny, but stayed below freezing - at least it felt that way to me - and was quite windy. I still need to go fetch that piece of roofing material that got dislodged from the Day Pen. sigh.

And so these days, since we have a couple of ducks who are not in tip-top condition right now, the flocks spend a good deal of time in the night pen. They get out for fresh air and sunshine, but the ducks themselves are the ones who tell me, after a short while, it's time to go back in.

I don't think I am anthropomorphizing when I write that the ducks can get bored being inside so much. The symptoms are more fussing at each other, mostly, and calling out to me more often. Some days my "people things" prevent me from spending much time with the ducks, but some days, especially evenings, I carry my laptop, or reading material to the night pen, pull up a pillow and a milk crate, and join the flock for a while. At first there is much animated chatter, and requests for treats. (The ducks pantomime what they want.)

Then there is a bit of chasing each other and poking each other and continued chatter, then the ducks begin to settle down, preening, sitting, napping. After a while I return to the "people world" and take care of things like dishes or folding laundry or posting to the Duckstead blog.

I find that time spent with the flock settles me down, too. Today was a full day, and some of the activities left me feeling edgy, if accomplished. I could not shake that mildly unpleasant buzz. It was as if I had had too much coffee. In fact, I did not finish my morning cup.

I tried a few different things to shake that edgy buzz, but nothing worked. Meanwhile, the ducks kept calling for me. Finally I went downstairs, saw they needed some more food, fixed them a couple of bowls of moistened food, made sure everything else looked okay, and decided to bring my laptop down and noodle around next to the flock.

By the time they were all settled in and the battery was low, I felt more like myself again. The ducks do this for me - they help me rebalance somehow. I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they do.