For the birds!

As kids, my sisters and I would spend a month every summer visiting our grandparents. Grandmother and Granddaddy lived in Memphis, TN not too far from Audubon Park.  A few weeks before our visit, Grandmother would start saving bread crusts for us to take to feed the ducks! It was the highlight of my summer.  In fact, the last time I visited her in Memphis,  we took our bread crumbs and drove over to feed them for what I knew would be our last visit together. When we got there, none of the ducks were on our side of the lake.  We could see them waaaaaay off in the distance.  We stood there a moment looking at them and discussing what to do when one lone duck came swimming over. Lucky guy! He’ll get all our bread! – or so we thought.  

We tossed him a few crusts and then, as if a bat signal had been projected up in the sky, the rest of the ducks got the word that there was bread and they were missing out!  Within seconds we were surrounded! They were honking and kind of pecking at us trying to get the bread.  My cell phone rang and while trying to fight off the ducks, I answered it – not sure why.  It wasn’t my best plan.  I think the ducks sensed distraction, because they were on me in a flash!

The caller was a sheriff from my old home.  Just before moving away, my car had been broken into and he was calling to let me know they had recovered some of my things.  Grandmother was shreeking, the ducks were honking as loudly as they could, I was making noise trying to evade their greedy beeks… That poor sherrif asked if he needed to contact the local authorities and send help!  

Fortunately, we got away and had a great laugh over it. Certainly it made our last visit to the Audubon ducks memorable. 

Grandmother and Granddaddy were some special people.  Granddaddy left us in 1979 and Grandmother joined him in 2013.  I miss them.  And ducks have always reminded me of them, so having a pond with ducks has always been a dream of mine.  

When we started Broadmoor, one thing I wanted for certain was to have ducks out on that pond.  We bought 12 ducks from a local farm store and raised them in a pen.  When I thought they were big enough we took them out to the pond.  It was so amazing to watch them! They were happy and played in the water… just perfect! Until they started disappearing – usually one or two every few days.  Finally, there were only five left.  One evening, we went out and those five ducks had marched themselves about 300 feet, up from the pond to their old pen and camped out at the gate to the pen. We opened the pen and they ran inside.  

That was last summer.  They lived in their pen with a baby pool for a pond and seemed pretty happy with life.  We tried again to put them out at the pond, but they came right back up.  

In the spring we put some duck eggs in the incubator and got lucky. We ended up with eight more ducklings. 

They are pretty big now.  When we added them to the pen, it was a little crowded.  The baby pool had to be refilled several times a day. They just didn’t seem too happy.  

Nicholas and I decided to try again to move them to the pond.  Last weekend we built a very small house for them down by the lake.  Nicholas put chicken wire fencing all around their house and down into and across a section of the pond so we could contain them for a couple of weeks – train them where “home” was now.   Last night we moved the ducks to their new home.  We closed them up without letting them in the pond so we could release them this morning, hoping they would return tonight to the place they had left this morning.  

Early this morning I walked out to the pond, camera at the ready so I could capture their joy at their new world. It didn’t work out quite like I had planned.  

Yeah… that fence didn’t really do much.  We’ll see how getting them back to their house tonight goes.