While we were in India, we got some new neighbors. This isn’t a big deal for most people, but it was a big deal for us because we were used to being the only house on about 60 adjoining acres. Now we have neighbors close enough that I Chris could throw a rock and hit the house next door. Lucky for them, they can now be witness to the crazy antics that play out in our backyard. They missed Chris tearing up our grass with the Jeep in 2008 (incidentally, this is how we met our favorite neighbors that summer), the burning wheelbarrow on the frozen pond during Christmas break ’09, and Lion Duke 2010, but I’m sure that the new neighbors will enjoy watching Chris and his ducks this summer. Lucky for them, they have a front row seat from their dining room table. What’s not to love about that?
Since I wrote about the ducks last, they have gotten old enough to stay outside all day and learn how to swim. It is pretty funny to watch the herd mentality as the ducks explore the world outside of their cage. When I first approach the cage to let them out, they all run to the far side and huddle in the corner. Then, when I am far enough away for it to seem safe, they run, in a big, fluffy mass, to the edge of the pond.
To solidify our first impression with our new neighbors, Chris decided to put on a show for them the first time we let the ducks out. He set up lawn chairs in the shade under a big tree between the duck coop and the pond, directly in the line of sight from their house. A perfect venue for watching the ducks make their first venture into the great outdoors and take their first swim in the pond.
Not only were there lawn chairs, but there was a bucket of beer on ice, a foot rest for the lawn chairs, and of course the camera with the giant 300mm lens on it. Based on our first few meetings with our new neighbors, I’m quite sure they think we’re crazy; it is all just icing on the cake from here on out.
Have I ever mentioned that they built their brand new house right next to ours because someone else built a house too close to their old one?
We’re totally stoked about it. Really.
Back to the ducks.
Kai and I had our first duck herding experience and it was much easier than I expected. There doesn’t seem to be an “alpha duck”, rather, if one gets spooked and takes off, they all do. This comes in especially handy when it is time to herd them back into their pen. I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert duck herder at this point, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. The true test will be in a few weeks when Chris goes to China. If we still have 30 ducks when he gets back, then I’ve done alright!