The preferring swimming thing is a real bonus actually as it means that when they escape (they are freaking houdini ducks as we have no idea where they get out but get out they do, between one and five a day) they swim around and around the perimeter anti-predator ditch/ moat rather than making a bolt for freedom and the big wide wild world.
The rice is going well:
You can see the anti-predator strings zigzagging around the place (2000m remember!) and if you really look hard in the far left corner and just behind the duck hut you can see neighbouring rice fields and ours aren't too shoddy, hey?
In the spirit of full disclosure this was cropped out of the last shot:
Right by the front fence there is a bald patch belt. I'm not sure if it's because that's where the girls did their rice planting (unlikely as they were doing it the same as the rest of us...) or because that was one of the spots where the water was deepest (again only one of them though...) or because that's where people throw food in for them so here's a lot of swimming and duckie excitement going on there (unlikely as the area around their hut where there is similar frenetic get-me-to-the-food activityis fine) or what it is but it just seems a mystery. If you look really carefully you can see yellowed spindly rice just to the right of centre? that was the rice I re-planted and it still didn't grow properly. Mysterious indeed, huh? But hey, if it all went perfectly the first year there'd be nothing to challenge us next year, huh?
And the ducks?
Crap picture but I keep falling on my butt when I get into the field and I don't think my camera can swim so I'm being careful. You can kind of see how big they're getting though.
And that's the rice update for the moment.