God's creations are just so amazingly beautiful. This is a picture of a female cardinal that we took in our very own backyard! When I watch the birds so busy gathering food, flying here and there, I'm reminded of how God provides for them and promises to provide for us even more. Why worry about a thing, when God is for you. Nothing changes when we worry anyway. The birds bless me in this way as they remind me of how God is our provider and cares for us even more.
It's been so cold here this winter in Texas. I know I can't complain in comparison to other states who have even colder weather but the grey skies and freezing temps really are hard to live with day after day. I've always loved all the seasons including winter. I love the beauty of the snow and ice. I love the sound of rain and the feel of being warm in a cozy house. But this winter the continuous days with no sunshine and the ability to sit outside, has gotten me down. I know some people who do get depressed in winter and I can finally relate a little I think.
I realized how melancholy I felt all winter when the sun finally came out. It was so refreshing and wonderful that I sat outside even though it was really too cold to. Spring was suddenly in the air and all our ducks and chickens were happily running around playing and looking for food, taking other times during the day to nap in the sun.
It kind of felt like this picture of Levi hiding under his umbrella in the gloomy rain. Just like me, hiding in my house trying to stay warm and be productive during the daylight hours.
And then when the sun came out, the umbrella was lifted and a smile broke out!
This is my 3 year old duckling, Levi. My oldest daughter took this picture of him and I love it!
These are a few of our real ducks basking in the sunshine. They are about 11 weeks old now. So big, they have grown! Their eyes are on the side of their heads so when you talk to them and they look at you they cock their head in funny ways to see you like the way this white one is doing. We have named her Snowwhite.
We live next door to a beautiful pond that our neighbor owns. Now that our ducks are older we are starting to herd them down to the pond each day to swim since our little kiddy plastic pool is way to small for them.
These two are mates. They are the same breed and I think two of the prettiest ones. We named the whiter one, Raquel and the browner one is named Harley.
This is Prince. He is the biggest duck we have. He is a Pekin duck and because he is so big he has a big waddle too. It's funny to see him lead the pack or sometimes bring up the rear because he is pretty slow to get where he wants to go.
We have learned that when they go to the pond they are actually getting food from it as well. They have a type of sieve in their bills that filters out the dirt and sand so they can eat the minnows and tadpoles and other small bugs. They love the mud and and seem to be drinking it but that isn't really true.
They also have oil glands on their bodies that help their feathers repel water so they never seem like they are wet. They can completely dunk their whole body under water but come up dry! They love to bathe and flap their wings to fluff up their feathers after getting wet. We have feathers all over our yard because of this. They jump in my kiddy pool and get as wet as they can and then they flap so hard, you think they will just lift off and fly away at any time. But these breeds of ducks can't fly.
We are really enjoying our two black ones. They are called Cayugas and are a beautiful, silky black color. When the sunlight hits them certain ways their feathers look green or purple. I named one of them Beautiful but I can't really tell them apart.
This is Raquel again. She is my favorite.
Harley again. He is looking right at ya!
Here they are all in a row just like the ducks in books look like. They stick together, let me tell you! If one gets stuck or left behind, all the others will go back for it. It's really endearing to watch them stay together even though they represent 4 different breeds. They have grown up together so each other is all they've known. There isn't an independent one out of the whole bunch. I love this about them. Chickens go off on their own and don't seem to care too much where each other is hanging out. Ducks on the other hand are much more attached to each other. When I take them to the pond and they all are playing around in the water, when one decides it's time get out, then they all finish up and get out too. All of a sudden, all 8 of them will be done in the water and ready to follow the leader!
I love the way they look against the green pasture! Every time I take them to the pond, I with I had my camera to capture the beauty. They now know how to come home all by themselves after I take them down there. This morning it was pretty cold so Micah and I stayed about 20 minutes. They were having such a good time in the water and didn't look like they were going to be done anytime soon so we just left them down there. They came home a few minutes later all together without loosing a single member of their family!
I'll end this post with another picture of my youngest duckling.
Our own family is sort of like a duck family, I'm discovering. We all need our time alone and sometimes go off with friends for a bit, but it's hard to stay away from each other for long. We inevitably gather again to be together and enjoy each others company, sharing our days experiences. Rich is our leader and where he leads, we follow. Sometimes other members of our family voice their desires or concerns and unconsciously take a lead where we all follow to show our support.
Yes, I'm learning quite a bit about love and care by observing our ducks. Gods creatures are indeed, beautiful in many ways.