One of my favourite signs of spring is the annual commencement of the duck parade. This morning as I sat at my computer I heard quacking – much closer quacking than ought to have been the case! I looked out the window and there in the murky gloom of an overcast predawn as the rain drizzled down and the mist rose up came the gleeful waddle strut of the duck parade.
They can only parade along the designated paths of the yard because we still have many, many feet of snow – two anyway. But they’ve found the one patch of clear yard there is, paraded two it and are currently enjoying a committee meeting in which they alternately drill into the sadly little patch of dirt and announce/discuss and debate their findings.
It’s one of the first signs of real spring. The animals know and when they start being celebratory about the winter coming to a close, I have to join them. I remember reading something once about how everyone should have ducks because it’s impossible to stay in a bad mood when you watch them. It’s so true. It’s a huge part of why we have ducks rather than chickens. Practicalities aside (they’re much easier keepers – especially at this wet time of year) they’re just so damn happy. And at this time of year, after the long winter and the growing muck, there’s really something to be said for coming home and seeing the ducks flapping and playing and quacking about in the mud and the muck.