Donald and Daisy are parents — and what fantastic parents they are.
The paradise shelducks had eight of the cutest little ducklings I've ever seen. I first spotted them last Monday down by the stream opposite my kitchen window.
They were walking along the bank heading for the water. I counted eight of them dropping into the water and watched as they crossed the stream and struggled, jumping on their tiny legs, to get up the other side.
They all managed though and followed mum and dad into the orchard.
Ten days later there are still seven and I'm completely obsessed with them.
The first thing I do in the morning is look out the window scanning the stream and bank for them. I look for them as soon as I get home.
I leapt out of my chair on the weekend when I saw a hawk circling, rushing outside to make sure the duck family where not in sight.
They weren't. I should have known. Donald and Daisy know what they are doing.
Donald's head is constantly up — his neck stretched as he scans the surroundings while Daisy and the ducklings feed.
Most of the time he stays on the bank when they are in the water, but occasionally he joins them.
At first the ducklings were either huddled under their mum or very close by. As soon as she moved off they would be right behind her.
But now they are beginning to act like 3-year-old humans. They scatter off in all directions on land and paddle furiously away from their mother in the water.
It takes them ages to get out of the water when their parents think its time to head for the orchard. Daisy just sets off but Donald waits with head up until the last one decides to join the family.
He is a good dad. No one gets near his family. On Saturday I watched as both parents took flight and chased off other ducks trying to land near their chicks.
Pukeko get the same treatment.
They appear to have a routine just like any human family. A time to eat, a time to forage, time to play and a time to sleep.
They must have good hiding places because they face danger from the ground to the sky every day with hawks circling and humans walking their dogs (off-lead).
When I first spotted the eight ducklings, I hoped that at least one of them would survive into adulthood. However, now I'm thinking the odds have gone up a bit.
This family knows when to duck for cover or put up a fight. So now I'm hoping for a quacking good survival rate.
FOOTNOTE: Why do men find it difficult to cover up their nose?
Over the weekend I was out and about in Havelock North, Hastings and Napier and I couldn't believe how many males were not wearing their masks properly.
Yes, there were a few women doing the same thing but the men far outnumbered them.
You wouldn't wear a mask just over your nose, would you? Same principle applies to only covering your mouth.
Wearing a mask is annoying however at the moment it's a must when you... actually everyone knows what they should and shouldn't do by now, so I'm not going to repeat it all.
Come on guys — you can wear it well.
Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.