around the farm: morning ritual

notes from maggie's farm

Weekends around here are often dedicated to 'real writing', (of course all writing is real writing) that is, writing that involves NO FOOD.  It's upon occasions like this one, and this one, I will write entire 'posts', or opinion pieces, or lifestyle pieces that have little to do with food, but much to do with one farm keeper's life, or life beyond.  Concentrating solely on the word, without having to make them dance around a specific food topic is liberating.  This blissfully damp morning is such a morning.

Poultry, chickens and ducks and turkeys and guineas and the like, get a bad wrap. People often call them dumb, or stupid, and for the life of me, and them, I can't understand why.  They fascinate me.  I could watch them for hours.  I'm so happy to have a spot from which to spy on my flock from inside my warm and dry home on days like these.

I looked out the kitchen window this morning, waiting for my coffee to cool from it's scalding-like-asphalt-fresh-from-the-pot temp, and watched one of our ducks, Click, partner to Clack, giving herself her sacred morning bath. This is no perfunctory get-ready-for-work shower.  Click revels in the bath, especially when her pond has been topped off with fresh water, whether from the tap, or, as is the case this morning, a rainfall, most awesome. Perched firmly at the edge, she ducks her head into the water, and then, emerging, tosses it from her bill, back onto her body.  Vigorously.  Over and over.  I mean, she gets a real kick out of this.  She strains her neck around and burrows her bill between feathers, shaking dust loose, unearthing any tiny insects that may have taken up nest since yesterday's bath.  She shakes off droplets, and preens about, inviting admiration from her fellow ducks, and grudging curiosity from the chickens with whom she shares the yard.  Click is the diva of the duck bath.

When she feels she's ready to put her best webbed-foot forward, she's off to the coop.  She's taken to laying her morning egg in the hen's nesting boxes.  Housing is no longer segregated; she insists upon equal sitting conditions.  She takes her own sweet time to deliver what she deems the finest egg among the morning's offerings--it's set apart from the pile of baby blues, khaki's, and peaches, this fine, large, thick-shelled alabaster-toned egg.  It really is a beauty.

Afterwards, she will dismount, descend the stairway, snag a spot of feed, have a little 'me time'.  She's not ready to join the ranks just yet.  Most of her day will be spent unearthing grubs and seeds and following, mostly, in line with her fellow ducks, but this moment is all her own, as if recharging after her morning duties. Perhaps a duck devotional, if you will. Like the morning coffee, bath, meditation and writing that prepares, for the day, the human that keeps her, she has her ritual, and is most at peace when able to keep it faithfully.

And then she's ready for demands of the day.

We are so grateful for you, the kind readers who stop by, give encouragement, keep us motivated.  Steph, at The Chickpea Chickadee and Rambling Wren (both great blogs, how impressive to keep up TWO!) is one such reader who often takes time to leave a little note, and in so doing, buoys the spirit of those of us who blog away, never really knowing, except by the inhuman 'stats' we consult, sometimes occasionally, sometimes obsessively, if what we go on about has any real value.

So it was with delight that we discovered Steph had graciously nominated us for a Liebster Blog Award.  Accolades!  We love accolades!
The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favorite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to five more blogs of note.
The idea of the Liebster Award is to recognize up and coming bloggers who's work is among those that inform, delight, and reward us, regularly.  There are many in our blogroll who qualify!  To help narrow that field, the Liebster is intended for the newest of blogs, those with less than two hundred followers (yet).  The blogs that follow are all well on their way, and some may have arrived at that or more; I'm not certain how many followers each has, but how fun it is to capture them before the huge growth spurts they will all inevitably enjoy.

Secondly, to link back to the blogger from whom you were awarded, post your award, by saving the image, below, to your blog, and nominate five of YOUR favorite young blogs, as below.

With those guidelines in mind, I delight in sharing with you, in addition to Steph's blogs, The Chickpea Chickadee and Rambling Wren, five of my favorites:

Life at Cobble Hill Farm
Into the Domesticated
Girl Gone Grits
Alphabet Salad
and SouthAustinFoodie Adventures.

Some are new, some are new to me, I just know you'll enjoy them all.

Thank you for sharing your gifts with me, blogger friend.  My days are blessed by your words.


  1. You are greatly deserving of the Liebster award. I always look forward to reading your wonderful posts.

    PS Isn't nature amazing? Interesting that ducks have rituals just like we do...except theirs does not include going to Starbucks:)

  2. I don't know how they do it without the Starbucks. lol
    Thank you again for your generous spirit. You keep me motivated!

  3. I loved reading about the ducks! It must be so relaxing to sit and watch them go about their daily rituals.

    Thank you so very much for honouring my blog with this wonderful award! I feel so blessed to have "met" you and discovered your world, so I'm happy that I am able to offer something back. So thank you!

  4. Click and Clack make me laugh, and you, my friend, make me smile. So glad to be getting to know you better, and THANK YOU! It's an honor to be in such wonderful company. xo

  5. Oh my! What a beautiful post! I love ducks, and I am in love with your Click!
    Thank you very much! I enjoy getting to know you through your words and photos.

  6. So happy you enjoy duck stories! lol Click is quite a gal. You all are so welcome--Thank YOU for the ways in which you entertain and inform me.

  7. Thanks so much for this. You are so sweet and we are all very honored, although it will probably go to Jackson's head when I tell him. :-) Steph - we have ducks in our town who do regularly go to Starbucks. They regularly waddle through town and any doors that are open on local businesses they go on in to see if there's anything they might like or just to say hi. Have a great week!

  8. I want a duck at my Starbucks! Tell Jackson I especially enjoy his antics, but without thumbs, I can't really award HIM the blogger award, too. Thank you for sharing your sweet farm, Staci.


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