Saturday, June 15, 2013

Living in the Woodland

July-August 1996   

Again it was mating season.               

She had already made a few nests in our garden between the reed, but – then suddenly she was again interested to go to the woodland. 

As the time before we opened the little gate in the fence towards the meadow again so that she could go to the woodland. The first time - we went together with her to see where she preferred to make her nest so that we knew approximately where she was. We imprinted the place she had chosen as good as we could so that we could find her much easier when we came to look after her later. We then left her there, although we weren't at ease because we had seen there a stray dog, but - she had made her choice and we wanted to respect this.
Once a day we went to look for her and then we called to her there. 
She always answered then by quacking very loudly. 
It was every time a real relief to find her there safe and well. She was really excited to see us there. Before we left she to care to her eggs. She covered them with twigs and dry grasses very careful so that you couldn't see them anymore. The whole way back to home she quacked then so loudly – that sometimes the neighbors asked us afterwards if there had been something wrong with her. 

Back home, she ate as much as she could and she washed herself in her pond. We cuddled and spent time with her until she wanted to go back to her nest.
While we accompanied her on the way she could be so full of joy. She really seemed to be pleased that we went together with her.
We followed her as long as we could but then we had to stop when she entered the dense woodland. 

Entering the woodland.

She then first went to the ditch there, and after awhile sifting/sucking mud we saw her then swimming away with mixed feelings.

On the one hand: seeing that - it was so catchy - our sweet little girl was now grown up! But: on the other hand - we also were worried for her safety.

It was every time with a heavy heart that we saw her leaving.
Sometimes she had made a nest at another spot without we knew it. Then we had to scream and yell to find her and we only could find her then because she answered. She went deeper and deeper into the woodland and therefore we had to wear our rubber boots because the place was so swampy.

Then on one day; again we went to see how she was doing on her nest! 
From the moment she saw us she there she came to us without taking care for her nest. 
When she approached us we backed off  because she smelled so awful. The stench was really unbearable! 
She also really looked terrible. The feathers of her chest were smeared with rotting egg yolk and so we realized what had happened. She had been breeding on the eggs so long that they started to rot and now they were exploded.
We found this so terrible for her. 
She had cared for her eggs so extremely well, we often could see how she turned them all around one by one so gently! It was so beautiful to see how she did that, and every time that she had left her nest she had covered the eggs with much care.

The whole way back home we kept distance from her to avoid the stench, and of course - the first she did back home was, to take a very extensive bath in her pond. That bath took twice as long as normal. 
She cleaned and preened even the tiniest little feather, but - she didn't succeed to make herself clean. The stinking egg yoke was too sticky and still kept sticking on her feathers. Therefore - I took her inside the house and in the sink of the laundry room I assisted her to clean herself properly. Now she seemed really exhausted: breeding such a long time had taken its toll.

Exhausted, taking a nap in the sink of the laundry room.

From the moment we put her outside she went to sleep in her dogs bed/nest.
After a good sleep; a good meal and some cuddles we went that evening back to the woods together with her. 
We presumed that she wanted to find a new and proper place for a nest, and - yes she did.
The first thing my hubby did the next day was cleaning her pond and refreshing the water.
Now her pond was clean and we: we were looking forward to see her soon again safe and sound!

But - where we were so afraid for would happen!
And what happened: the title of the next chapter reveals it already.
Missing Duck: distributing flyers!”

I hope to see again!

 Bye, bye!


  1. that's so sweet she involved you in her nesting!
    i know at the farm we had a broody duck and she never wanted to get up!
    it was painful to see as we knew there was no chance those eggs would ever hatch

    eww about the bad egg!
    that is a terrible awful spell
    look forward to the next chapter :)

    1. Yes it's really painfull to see how long they sit on a nest without result. They then really become exhausted and emaciated.
      Thanks for the comment Tabitha:)

  2. oh, my! How distressing for her and for you!

    what a good story!

    1. Thanks for the compliment Terry.:) Actually it was Pipke who made it possible that I could write this story. I didn't had to invent things, I just had to write down what we've experienced.