Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Ripley officer receives commendation for quick action Bicentennial at Ripley First Presbyterian RULH welcomes new school principals Aberdeen’s Police Dept. continues to grow Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Rickey L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Water distribution plans for Ripley move forward Historic Trapp and Wilson building sold RULH graduate wins HFR Scholarship Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann RULH selects Wilkins as new superintendent Corps of Engineer to study erosion issue in Ripley More funds available through Revolving Loans Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Historic home in Ripley is sold following renovations Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Students speak out in support of Skinner Ripley Council to pay half the cost for Air Evac services John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London

Herding ducks – the real story

I thought it best to keep the ducks secure in their enclosure, for a while. I wanted them to understand that this was their new home before I let them out to free range, but after three days I noticed that they seemed quite relaxed. I would sit by their gazebo and toss in scratch grains and they would happily waddle out of their house and scoop up the grains in their wide duck bills. So I decided that yes, it was time to open their front gate and let them out to explore our creek valley world.

Well, no sooner did I open the gate than they made a fast duck waddle past the goat yard, down to the end of the bee hives, across the orchard, and straight for the far end of the upper field. They did not pause once, the two slightly smaller ducks following in a straight line behind the larger, crested headed duck. It looked to me as though they thought that they were making their get-away to return over three miles up the road, through creek coyote country, to the neighbors who had given them to us.

Thankfully I had thought to put the dogs in their pens before I let them out, so when I headed out across the orchard in hot duck pursuit, the dogs did not chase them farther away. I circled down to the lower end of the field to head the escapees off, and marched straight towards them, arms out stretched, cooing “Good duck, duck. Good duck, duck. Let’s head back home now. Let’s head back home.”

The lead duck saw me and came to an abrupt halt. He waggled his tail in what I have learned is perfect duck fashion, made a quick about face, and headed back up through the orchard, past the bee hives and the goat yard, to the gazebo enclosure. His two slightly smaller companions followed dutifully in a line behind him. As I herded them, still gently cooing for them to return home, it occurred to me that the phrase “Keep your ducks in a row” made perfect sense. Here I was, guiding my little line of ducks back home.

I sighed as I closed the gate safely behind them and tossed some scratch grains inside. I sat down on the ground beside them as they ate, still cooing that they were good ducks to have returned home.

So I waited a few more days before I let them out again. This time I stayed close by their side and we made a purposeful single file march around the upper field. They were amazingly easy to steer. I simply veered slightly to the left and they would head to the right. When I veered to the right, they would head left, and at the end of our walk, of course I rewarded them with scratch grain as I sat on the ground beside them. I smiled as I realized that I had kept my ducks in a perfect row!

We made a few such excursions over the next several days. I noticed that they were no longer heading off in such haste, and were beginning to pause and nibble at the ground here and there. The slightly bigger, crested headed duck was always in the lead.

And then today I opened their gate and simply stood back. Rather than dash out they seemed to leisurely step out into our creek valley world. They circled the windmill tower and paused by the pigeons, nibbling at what goodies the pigeons had thrown from their coop. They even went right up to the wire, as if to say “look at us out here,” and then they headed up, still in single file, to rabbit row.

Ahh, there were good things to explore and eat under rabbit row, and they stayed there for quite a while, but when a rabbit jumped inside her cage, they dashed back out into the field, the crested headed duck once again leading the way.

My ducks had done well. I cooed that it was time to return home and gently corralled them back into their duck enclosure and scattered their scratch grains. We shall get the hang of this, my ducks and I. Someday I imagine that they will free range all day and have a solar powered door to close them safely inside at dusk, but for now I am enjoying my duck walks. I wouldn’t say that it is anything like a cake walk, but it is still quite enjoyable indeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright The Ripley Bee