We let the ducklings out of the pen today. For a moment, the ducks looked at the open door and just sat there, preeening. Then Clive decided -- freedom and started the mad scramble. The ducklings are big enough now that unless the bird of prey were an eagle, I don't think they would be in danger. They have nearly all their feathers except for the dark brown down that covers their heads. Each white bib is slightly different -- with a different sort of pattern of brown against white as if they spilt something. Only one is pure white and another chocolate brown. Their quack is different -- less peeping and more grown up duck like.
There are still six and as near as I can tell, they are female ducks. Drakes seem to have curly tails and none of the ducklings' tail feathers show the slightest interest in curling at the moment.
The crunch came last night when I decided the pen was fast becoming a health hazard. I also took a look at the garden and realized that we had had an explosion of certain types of weeds -- dandelions and this sticky green stuff. I had not seen the sticky stuff in any quanitiy for years so the ducks must have been happily munching away at it. In any case, they seem very pleased to be out of their confinement. Much quacking and wagging of tail feathers.
In other news: Kate Allan had her launch party for The Lady Soldier last night. It was well attended. And she has run out of book plates as I have done. When I made up the first batch, I had thought -- oh it will take forever to get rid of them and I don't want to be cocky here, but so far people seem to want the bookplates... Each bookplate is signed by both of us and numbered. So it is a matter of running off some more.
On the whole, everything seems to be going okay with The Lady Soldier. Next week on 14-16 June, Kate and I will be appearing on Romance Junkies' Book club to discuss the book. There is a chance for 3 NA based people to win a copy. Hopefully, people will stop by.