We aren’t spring chickens anymore so we get spring chickens (and ducks).
One of us is less spring chicken and more autumn chicken, but I digress.
As a note, I am writing this post as a winter storm has forged its way through the northeast blanketing us with winter white. It is March.
We are outside of Buffalo, New York, so we are more than used to snow and more than used to late winter snowstorms. I recall local comedian, Mark Russell, noting at a show many, many years ago (and I paraphrase), “Buffalo, where we keep giving Mother Nature the middle finger and she keeps giving it right back.”`
That said, the Wiccan calendar notes that spring (Ostara) is around the corner. Ostara is celebrated on (or around) March 21. With spring comes any number of preparations. Each of us is planning our gardens big and small. I am fortunate enough to have quite a sizable yard with a huge vegetable garden, a separate herb garden, and flower gardens. We also have full grown chickens and an engineer-designed coop.
Friday, we got a new batch of young ‘uns. Chickens are wonderful pets and will lay eggs for several years but a couple of our current hens are reaching “henopause” and won’t be laying. So we bring in a new flock. We have six new hens who will join the flock in a month or so (we’ve perfected the art of assimilating the flocks and will write about that when it happens – it is a process).
This year for the first time, we bought ducks! The chickens are sexed (so they should be all female); the ducks are not. We have six ducklings and they could all be drakes but I doubt it (probability). I have wanted ducks for several years but was afraid to have them both together. After some research, it turns out they are more than compatible once they are older. I’ve told a couple of people about ducks and they are excited about duck eggs. I have never had one but look forward to it….unless I have all male ducks in which case I look forward to watching them swim.
Right now we have them housed in large storage bins (see photos) with wood shavings covering the floor and separate water and food troughs. It was recommended that baby ducks and chicks not be housed together, though, as I mentioned, adults can be. The ducks are wetter and are able to handle it while the chicks are not and could freeze and die. Each “home” is also outfitted with a heat lamp and covering. The covering is to prevent them from jumping out and becoming canine appetizers.
Each time we get chicks I vow to socialize more with them so they get used to me and don’t run when I come near. I also name them and choose the names of women who have some meaning for me. This year the chicks will be Agatha (Christie), Marie (Curie), Sylvia (Earle), Amelia (Earhart), Alice (Walker), and Wilma (Mankiller). The ducks are unnamed since I don’t know the sex and don’t want Chris, Pat, etc. More to come.
Spring chickens and ducks are just the first step in spring’s renewal. Ostara is a time of rebirth and growth. As our chickens and ducks grow, so do we. As we plan our gardens to grow (and perhaps plant seeds to sprout indoors), so do we plan our growth and rebirth.
Ostara will mark the soft opening of Arcane Trine Alchemists. Please take a look at our website, sign up for newsletters and blog posts, determine which of the alchemists and which of the divination methods appeals to you and join us in our growth so that we may help you in yours.
Renewed energy and vigor – starting new life in any form. Welcome spring with its energy.
Now let me shovel the sidewalk.
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