Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Predators... the bane of my existence

The other morning we had a predator in the yard. I was awakened by the heavy flapping of duck wings and a weird strangled duck-ish sound. Because I was holding Kasen, it being 3 am, I poked Keith and said 'there's something out there!'

Keith immediately went to the door and turned on the lights in time to see something jump over the back fence. He thinks it was a bobcat. I've seen the prints in the mud, and I think he may be right.

Keith then went outside to see what the damage was and only found two of our three muscovies. He locked them up in the shed and came in to tell me, where I was positive everyone was dead, like what happened last summer. I was devestated and feeling like every time I reach for my dream, it ends in disaster, and wondering if I had it in me to try and try and try when I always fail. Emotionally, things have been very exhausting for me with animals and all the losses we've had.

I got up and went around outside and there was no sign of the missing duck.

In the morning, however, there was a present by my bedroom sliding glass door to the yard. Hershey, my brown muscovy, was sitting on the step, looking a little battered, but very much alive. I let her into the shed with her sisters and had a prayer of thanksgiving that she was ok.

I know, that with everything going on in the world as it has been, that it may be selfish of me to first mourn and then rejoice over a duck, but, I really believe, that it's the small things that can shatter us or put us back together. At least, I know that's true for me.

To protect the girls (and one illicit boy) Keith set up the shed as a new coop. It's secure, roomy, and now organized with plenty of laying spaces and cozy nooks for the flock. All they need is some straw and everything will be hunky-dory. The straw is a must... ducks are pretty stinky.

We've been struck with illness in the family, but yesterday Keith and the bigger boys put in some garden in the pen where the chickens used to live. They planted onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce. I'm not sure what else may have ended up in there.

I have hope that this year will be better. The garden will survive and I will feed my family off of it.

And soon, as things start coming into season, we'll be making jam again.

We can't wait!

1 comment:

Real said...

Think of every failure as figuring out one more time something that does not work. That way the next time you try, you know not to do that again. At least that's what I keep telling myself about my own garden. So far we haven't been very successful at all, but three years worth of failure prompted us to try something different this spring.