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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Raining Cats and Ducks

Oh me poor pansies!
Dahlings, as those of you in the UK know only too well, it has been raining and raining here.  A Lot.
We had the highest rainfall in April since records began in 1068* and May is no less damp.

Do you remember Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow, where it mentions that the Inuits have numerous distinct words for different kinds of snow?
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I wonder whether we shouldn't come up with similar, for rain.  How about:
  •  piffdown
  •  damplateral
  •  drenchlette
  •  moistler
  •  blurge
No, I give up, it's too depressing.  What do you suggest? Bet you can come up with better! Come on Linda in Chile, you are brilliant at this kind of thing!

All this rain is confusing the local flora and fauna:  a temporary pond develops now and again on the road opposite our house and ducks have been swimming in it, happily oblivious to the schoolrun mothers in their 4x4s hurtling by.

The other day in a fit of "bad conscience" gardening I was hacking away at the overgrown shrubs outside our front door and found a nest, with big white eggs in it. The next day I peered in at the nest to find a Mama Duck peering out at me.

I must admit to feeling rather anxious about it all - I checked up the old interweb (ha, ha) : Mr Mallard leaves Mrs Mallard once she is sitting on the eggs and goes off to find a new mate.  I just knew he was a cad and a bounder, with his green silken cravat, very flash. 

Cad and bounder

So poor single mother, coping all on her own.  She has to sit there for 28 days, and she is very steadfast, I have only seen the nest left once...(in fact I was a bit upset, I thought she had abandoned the nest and there was no sign of the eggs - does anyone know if she would have buried the eggs deep within the nest?? or do I have a tragic phantom egg situation?)

My biggest worry is what will happen when/if the eggs hatch.  She needs to get the ducklings to water but there is no pond nearby at all...surely she can't have been fooled by the temporary road puddle??

Anyone out there who can advise - that would be most welcome.  From my research it seems one either interferes completely or leaves it alone and lets nature take its course - I am going for the latter, as I am sure Mama Duck knows better than me how to look after her offspring..

Anyway, I am hoping to hear the patter of tiny webbed feet soon.
I'll keep you posted.

*ok, I completely made that up. But it's my blog, so there.


  1. this mother duck heard about your great mothering skills so she settled into your garden. how sweet! maybe she has a g. whacker too! will you name them duck 1, duck 2, etc?! keep us posted.

    1. Dear Janet, the very thought of a Duck Grandma W just sends me quackers..sorry

  2. I think blurge is excellent. Isn't this awful? And SO COLD! Don't have any advice re. poor old duck - hope she is okay. Maybe your husband and sons could rustle up a nice pond in the garden for her? There'd be less lawn to mow if it ever stops raining too! xxx

    1. I did joke to old Mr B when he came in from work at 9pm one night, tired and hungry, that could he please go straight out and dig a pond in the garden..oh how we laughed..

  3. Really fed up with the rain too and love the words you've come up with, especially 'piffdown' and 'blurge'. When a drought was announced I just knew we would have rain for weeks! In fact it's just started raining here again...

    I love ducklings, so cute! I hope these ones will be okay - I like Mrs Exeter's suggestion of a pond in your lawn as their new home!! :)

    Melusine x

    1. Melusine, this weather is driving me mad, I am literally under the weather; Grandma W thinks that the drought is due to a sinister conspiracy whereby the gov has been pumping all the water out of the water table for years and selling it to...? well, she is still investigating that..

  4. Tiny webfeet...sounds so perfet together. :) This rain, don't get me started! A neigbour has a large tree over and I am sure it is due to the water. I look at all the trees around us...
    I have lived in Surrey for two years and the weather has been glorious, I didn't know what the fuss was all about, 'English weather'. I am wondering if this is what they were talking about..

    Have fun with the hatchlings!

    Jeanne xx

  5. Apologies...must remember to spell check before pushing send...either that or slow down on the morning coffee. :)

    1. Jeanne please don't worry about typos, I do a lot, especially in commtnets; this rain is ghastly isn't it, I am sick of hearing the pitter patter on the skylight in the kitchen - usually around school pick up time

  6. Ah she'll soon have her own Ducklings 1 and 2 getting each other in headlocks and learning interesting'' vocabulary.

    Personally, I'd leave her to it!

  7. Sally - yes I guess any youngster near me will be badly behaved - remember Alfie the dog? it's a talent I have, i really bring out the worst..thank goodness i never became a teacher..

  8. Now now Blighty. You are fantastic Mum and you know it. I could never do it The neighbours would have social services on speed-dial.

    Yes I do remember Alfie. Dogs are such a bloomin' handfull.

  9. I've heard that Northern Europe is socked in! My condolences! On the other hand, come to California!

  10. Hello! Just found you via Kim at Northern California Style - love your humor and feel your concern for the mama duck.
    I have seen nests built and ducklings raised a very long duck walk away from water.
    Can you replace some cut branches over her nest area again so she feels less exposed?
    And if you want her to stay... a kids wading pool, with a ramp, would be less effort than husband digging a pond. And it's removable! :-)

    Your words for rain are the best. I am originally from Oregon and Washington states - very wet, gray, drizzly.

    I'll be back - Cheers!


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