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It’s hard to believe Hestia sat on her eggs for only 28 days.  It felt like years.  The anticipation was excruciating, but finally the long-awaited moment came when we checked on her, and a little mallard face about the size of a quarter peeped out from behind her.  By Sunday evening May 20th we had moved the first five of 9 ducklings into a brooder in the house.  the rest were born the next day, Hestia’s first birthday.

Three of the ducklings are black with yellow chests, the offspring of a cayuga-mallard hen and a mallard drake.  The other six look like traditional mallards and are a good biut smaller than the hybrids.  All are perky, quick on their feet and quick to nap.  Our first attempt at hatching eggs with a brooding hen and then taking over the process of raising them has been a great success.  At least the first five days have been.

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Rose and I spent the morning harvesting potatoes — thirty-seven pounds of them.

Who knew?

Her sister Brinna gave us the seed, very small potatoes left over from her harvest last fall.  We planted Larattes, Rose Finn Apples, Kennebecs, Russets, and  some beautiful rose-colored fingerlings.  We planted them with hope, but really the bounty of the harvest was almost embarrassing. New as I am to growing potatoes, I never imagined the variety of shapes and sizes and colors, and the quantity!  How different they are from the ones we see at Hannaford. Finding them in the earth was a wonderful treasure hunt on this cool September morning.

The harvest was an opportunity to hear again what she has been learning about worms and the soil food web in Farm Science at Two Coves Farm, a class she attends with four other homeschooled children.  We examined several very large earthworms in the bright sunlight, and quietly thanked them for making our soil so fine for growing potatoes. As the schoolbus sped by we waved, and turned and smiled at each other.

I am topping up the oil lamps, covering up my 70-year-old tractor and making sure the rotary dial phone is still on the hook.  Preparing for the potential arrival of the biggest hurricane in 20 years makes me think about how hard it can be to live without electricity.  Well, not that hard – not in this house.  I remember my mother telling me the story of going out in the eye of the storm – the great Long Island Hurricane of 1938 – to secure her little boat she had forgotten.  I pulled mine out of Basin Cove yesterday.  I want to be inside when the sky turns green.