Two days ago, while doing the morning chores, it was discovered that we’d lost a duck to a predator.
Feathers everywhere under The Grandmother Tree, a limp body in the acequia, scared siblings, and a missing momma.
We were in a rush to leave the property with a sick toddler in tow, a day of juggling said, sick toddler and mandatory work schedules ahead, and an appointment in town we were already late for.
While Kim cleaned up the body and tried to assess what happened, I headed down to take care of the goats while scanning the property for Kitty, my heart sinking with each step and no sign of her.
I fed and watered the goats in a hurry and headed back to the house when something told me to look in Ricky’s yard (which has sat empty since he joined us as we’re trying to assure all three Ladies get bred, he adjusts to his new herd, and has a warm cozy place to sleep, instead of alone, for the coldest months).
And there she was, sitting up strangely in Ricky’s shelter.
I went into the yard and approached her, worried she was hurt and hiding, only to find that she’s been laying her beautiful eggs in secret while we weren’t paying attention.
We’re up to six today!
And so, not only are our mated pair just fine, but Red and Kitty are setting the stage to be parents again.
January seems a bit early to me for a duck to set a clutch, but I’ve been assured by those who know more than me about ducks that Kitty knows what she’s doing and I should trust her instincts over my own and so that I will do.
But before I get too carried away with visions of fluffy butts and the sweetest of little faces that will (hopefully) be joining us in March, there is a predator on the property to consider.
Except that, I’m not so sure we’ve got a land-based predator on our hands and are thinking we may actually have an owl that’s hungry and whose eyes are bigger than it’s ability to carry off a large and well-fed duck, despite it’s best efforts.
Without knowing for sure, based on the location of the kill, the lack of damage to the body, the new poop under The Grandmother Tree, and the fact that this all happened in the cover of darkness, it’s our best deduction at this point.
And so we live and learn and grieve and find joy in the crazy adventure of it all.