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Posts Tagged ‘TECHE Project’

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Some of you have been following our wood duck house story. In late February, my husband built a wood duck house and set it up near the bayou. We put a Ring doorbell camera inside to capture the whole process. We were amazed when a hen came in the very next day. It took her a few weeks to lay the eggs and begin sitting on them. I wrote about it here and here.

The last time I was able to count the eggs, I had counted 13 eggs.

The problem with using a Ring camera is, with the constant motion of a hen sitting fairly consistently, the battery runs down. We changed it out once with no problem, but Saturday afternoon, it had totally died. Because we couldn’t look at the camera to see if the hen was in the house, my husband spooked her when he went to change the battery.

She came back for a brief minute then flew back out at around 7:30 PM. After that, nothing.

Did she abandon the nest altogether? Alerts to motion come onto my phone. I usually turn off notifications during the night but I didn’t Saturday. We waited for the buzz of the phone. Nothing.

Sunday morning I looked out the window, saying a few prayers that she would return. I saw the couple in the water. I practically begged at the window, “Please go back in. Please go back in.”

She flew up and around the house and landed back in the water.

I woke up my husband who admits he wasn’t really sleeping. I said, “There must be some kind of sound coming from the camera to scare her like that.”

He said, “To hell with broadcasting, we need to save these eggs.”

But taking the camera out didn’t prove necessary. I heard a buzz on my phone. She’s back! She was in the box, settling in, poking around, as if nothing had happened. Whew! Relief!

Relieved to get this phone alert.

Jeff watched one of the videos from the camera and noticed that there was a hen perched at the hole flying out while another hen was in the box sitting. Could they both be sitting? Are they sharing the nest?

While our hen was away, I was able to get a shot of the eggs. She hadn’t had time to cover them before she left. I counted 20 eggs! Twenty!

If my calculations are right, and the 12 hour hiatus doesn’t change the incubation time, the eggs are due to hatch on or around April 11th. You know I will be posting. You can follow on my Instagram or Facebook page.

Now for poetry. I am playing with some fun poetry games. My students are playing along and posting on our Kidblog site.

With Paint Chip Poetry, I pulled honey, quicksilver, and under the sea. The prompt was “We’re all in this together.”

We’re all wild honey
under the sea
free and quick
like silver sparkles
together
making waves
splashing
sprays
whale family.

Margaret Simon (draft, 2019)

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Vernal Equinox on the Bayou Teche.

Begin with the source,
Lore told again and again,
ancient words from native people–
Teche,
Tesh,
Snake

Water runs through it
brown bayou mud
bound by an ever-eroding shore
Teche,
Tesh,
Snake.

Sun sets on vernal equinox
sends rays of light across
cypress trees reflected in still water
Teche,
Tesh,
Snake.

–Margaret Simon

Reflections

The name of my blog originates with the bayou that runs behind my house.  Bayou Teche was so named for an ancient Native American legend that the warriors battled a huge snake for days, and in finally killing it, the giant serpent created a waterway through where it lay.  The Bayou Teche meanders back and forth for 125 miles.

We recently joined the T.E.C.H.E. Project, Teche Ecology, Culture and History Education, a nonprofit with a mission to improve the Bayou Teche for recreation as well as for ecosystem health.  One of the perks of membership is the gift of a mile marker.  Our house is at mile 69.4.  We plan to mount the marker on our wood duck house, but we will wait until Eve, our resident mother, finishes her nesting.

The name of my blog has significance to me. It reflects the place where I live along with my own internal reflections about teaching and writing.  Literal and figurative reflections on the Teche.

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Baker’s dozen wood duck eggs!

“There is motion at your wood duck house.”

It comes as an alert on my phone.  I can’t help but look.

Two weeks ago, we set up the wood duck house that my husband had made.  The next day a hen came.

We placed a Ring doorbell camera on the roof of the house, so anytime there is motion, the device records a video and sends it to my phone.  Incredible technology!

Incredible nature!

I marvel at how this bird knows exactly what to do.  For the last two weeks, she has come into the house daily.  In the morning, she flies in, rearranges the furniture, and lays a few eggs.  Then she leaves.

I’ve watched each day, and if she didn’t cover them up with the shavings, I can count the eggs.  The count approached a dozen.

I’ve been posting updates to my Instagram and Facebook accounts.  I wrote the first post about the house here.

Last night as we were having dinner, my phone buzzed.  This was unusual to get an alert at night.  And the alerts continued.

The wood duck hen came in at 7:09 last night, and she’s still there!

Now we count 29-31 days to hatching.  But the big day is the day after hatching when the baby ducklings climb up the side of the box and JUMP!  If it’s a school day, I will have to call in sick.

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