With all due respect to one of my favest* Founding Fathers, the ducks have some tweaks to his famous aphorism popularized in Poor Richard’s Almanack, a periodical dotted with proto-Twitter quotes.  To wit:

“Early to bed, early to rise, keeps a man healthy, wealthy & wise.”

Duck-revised version:

“Early to bed in winter, early to rise in summer, keeps a duck happy, fat & fit.”

Pretty catchy, right?

In my on-going conversion/reversion to a less e-networked**, more earth-connected individual, I find that raising ducks keeps me in tune not just with the planet but with the star—that’s right, our star, Sol.  Frankly, they give me no choice.  Their little feathered heads contain some kind of hormonal clock that guides them through the day/year just as much as (or better than!) whatever apps handle our own lives.

Primitive?  Maybe.  But as self-styled “owner” of these perky waterfowl, I’ve been tied to their pituitary predilections for the last 12 months and darn if I don’t feel like a new woman!***  Here’s how it goes—sun comes up, ducks get up, I get up.  At night, the sun goes down, the raccoons come out, the ducks go in or else.  As long as the door to the pen is open, they heed the sky’s warning and even skedaddle to shelter on their own.

With seasonal sunshine differences, however, this means that most summer days I’m up at 4:30 (ouch!) and not asleep before 10.  And during those in-between hours, I’m raking/mowing/weeding/seeding and occasionally even eating, napping and typing.  What’s more, the sun does wake me up now.  As birdsong heralds those first rosy fingers, I generally feel ready to tackle another fully-booked day.  Once that light starts to fade, though, darn if my zing doesn’t zonk!  Coffee and other beverages can bollix this balance so, of course, moderation is my watchword.  (Ahem.)

And while practicing the Solar System of Better Living, I also try to keep in mind another of Ben’s sage sayings:

“If your head is wax, don’t walk in the sun.”


Anyone seen my hat?



*Smart, creative, food-loving Philadelphian—what’s not to like?
**This blog notwithstanding.
***Paleo Duck Method?



Ben Franklin’s Wit & Wisdom; Peter Pauper Press; Mount Vernon, NY. (undated edition)


Copyright 2013, Lori Fontanes