Eggs hatching

By Molly Butler

We added some ducklings to our little farm this spring.

They’re growing quickly, already molting, their fuzz interrupted by smooth feathers as if a full-grown duck were bursting out from within. The weather isn’t cooperating, so they’ve been stuck inside, under their heat lamp, keeping me on an endless cycle of replacing bedding, replacing water, watching them spill the water, repeat. This week, my sister stopped by with the twins to see them.

“They’ve grown so much!” she said, holding the toddlers above the brooder so they could see, their cheeks all rosy in the red of the heat lamp.

“Duckies!” one cried while the other eyed the various tools and boxes in the garage he might want to knock over once he was free. He wriggled loose and went straight for the toy riding tractor, not noticing or caring when he knocked over a few boxes on the way, spilling and breaking. “Hey!” my sister called after him, but he didn’t notice, wide eyes on the shiny new toy, ready to roll.

Sometimes it’s good when stuff breaks.

You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, chew before you can swallow, compost before you lay the manure down. Sometimes, the doctor must re-break a bone to set it right. My ducks quite literally had to break their eggs to enter the world; now they’re breaking through their fuzz. And, kids will make a few mistakes before they figure out what’s worth saving and what needs breaking.

After the kids were strapped safely in their car seats and my sister was on the road, I went back upstairs to the project I had been working to solve: I hated our bed frame. One of the supports would randomly bend, and I’d lay awake at night thinking the whole thing was going to buckle. The thing was wobbly and uneven but free with the purchase of a mattress. I wanted to break it down so that we could try a different approach. I’d hefted the mattress up against the wall and was in the process of undoing the simple 1, 2, 3 instructions we’d followed to put the thing together when I noticed the shape of the frame and the lay of the bars was very familiar.

“Huh,” I thought, pulling out my phone to check. Sure enough, the frame was nearly identical to the shape of the mobile chicken and duck tractors I’d been eyeing online, the kind that cost $1,000 pre-made because you couldn’t find decent material that cheap. It was uncanny. Just slap on some of the hundreds of yards of chicken wire we already had in the barn, and boom, we’d have our own poultry tractor ready to roll, pretty much free. Yep. Sometimes it’s good when stuff breaks.

Have a wonderful weekend, find some eggs and maybe break a few!


Head over to Lake Crystal to have an egg-stra fun Friday at the LCARC pool! It’s time for its Egg Dive! Get a special prize for every egg you find. Entry is $3 for members and $5 for non-members. Then, Hillcrest Rehabilitation Center will be open 3:45-4:15 p.m. with an Easter Egg Hunt! Open to all children, please BYO basket.

It’s your last weekend to catch Portraits from the Margins: Prints and Paintings of Arab American Women, currently on display at the 410 Project. Stop by from 2-6 p.m. to view the art, then return at 7 p.m. to celebrate National Poetry Month with “Artists, Educators, Administrators Open Mic,” open to all working in the creative field. Share through poetry, short stories or any mode of writing. No experience is required to participate.

Andy Tackett will be performing country and rock from 6-8:30 p.m. at Indian Island Winery. Enjoy the full menu paired with wine or beer. Crista Bohlman will be at the WOW! Zone from 6-9 p.m., and IV Play will perform at Busters Sports Bar and Grill starting at 9 p.m.


We have a lot of egg hunts and Easter festivities to choose from! Head to Caswell Park from 9-11 a.m. for the 2022 Easter Egg Scramble! There are options for all ages, including games, prizes, candy and face painting! The Easter bunny will be hopping around to lead activities and take photos. Dave’s River Valley Harley-Davidson will host an EGGstra Special Easter Party from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Le Sueur Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 10 a.m. at the American Legion. Finally, Wooden Spoon will host a Spring Rabbit Paint With Me Class! From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., join artist Ashely Siehler at the River Valley Market for a beginners watercolor class. Cost is $20 pre-register, $25 at the door; the cost includes a $5 coupon for Ashley’s art studio shop, Coyote and Bee Studio. All supplies included, ages eight and up, please.

The Mankato Brewery invites you to their Easter Keg Hunt! Starting at 9 a.m., teams of four can check the event page for clues that lead to a keg hidden somewhere in Mankato and North Mankato. Be the first to find it, and your team will win FREE beer for a year! Stop by for your Sign Up Packet.

Catch Dan Wanamaker’s Master’s Piano Recital at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall at MSU-Mankato. Catch the concert in person, or stream on Twitch. Papa Greezy will perform from 4-6 p.m. at the Mankato Brewery. Indian Island Winery will host Becky Borneke and In a Bind, performing from 5:30-8 p.m. UnWINEd at Chankaska Creek with Matt McAllister performing from 6-8:45 p.m.

Don’t miss out on the GAYLA, presented by South Central MN Pride at the Capitol Room in St. Peter this Saturday! There will be a cash bar and complimentary Hors D’oeuvres alongside a Silent Auction. Enjoy a drag show hosted by Gosh Alice Jones. Tickets are available here.


Enjoy a musical Sunday. The Sound of Music will be performed at the Ted Paul Theatre at MSU-Mankato beginning at 2 p.m. Joe Tougas and Ann Fee will perform at Patrick’s on Third in St. Peter starting at 4 p.m.

Added Value: Poultry Problems

Ducklings and chicks are adorable. However, they do not make good surprise holiday gifts. Please don’t pick up baby animals just to entertain children this holiday season. Every year around this time, hundreds, even thousands of chicks, ducks and baby bunnies pay the ultimate price because uninformed buyers want to treat them like toys. These animals need a great deal of care and attention and can live for over 10 years. Please stick to plush animal gifts instead, and visit local small farms or petting zoos to get your critter fix. Thank you!


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.