It was long, but short 11 days but the ducks have moved to the creek. These are the shots of their first moments checking it out.
Mabel was such a good big duck sister. There is much I haven't written about... but I'm certain the one time Mabel took off for the ducks, that Mallory and the crusty fussy little ones put her in her proper place! I was torching... it was NOT duck dinner time... and Mabel was sunbaking in the side yard. While in the middle of a huge bead, Mabel alerted and took off for the ducks! I was screaming and the ducks were squawking and Mabel was growling! By the time I tossed that big bead in the kiln and killed the flame that I was certain baby ducks (that can't fly) would fly into, it was over!
I did a quick head count... all ducks present and fine and went to find the rottweiler. She was hiding in the darkest room of the house! Since we were having a heat wave, I decided to stay indoors and work on websites and just let the babies have the yard. I spent the last week going outside to alert Mallory and the puddle to our presence before allowing Mabel outside. Mabel's morning sunbakes were done in my presence although I quickly realized that Mabel now totally respected the bad-arse duck that was now ruler of the backyard. All of her meals were served indoors.
Still, their last night here, at precisely 4:19 a.m., something disturbed the puddle and there was much hissing from Mallory and the babies were all squawking. After a quick head count, I returned to bed. At first light, I let Mabel out and just watched.
She stepped off the end of the patio, acknowledged Mallory sitting on her babies with wings surrounding them. Mabel walked straight to the side fence, turned right toward the back, strolled until she was parallel with Mallory. She peed with her eyes on the ducklings and then... went into critter mode... racing to the back deck to see what had caused a disturbance in the puddle. I felt that Mabel was protecting the ducks.
I also made sure that all friends that stopped by made a big to do over Mabel. I think this helped things go as well as they did.
I've learned that ducks can live a long time... I can't say that I'm looking forward to next year. But, I know we did our part to help the local duck population along. The ducklings are big and healthy and fighters like their mom!