I checked the winter sown containers outside. There are sprouts in the Silver Queen Okra, Canoe Creek Colossal Melon, Early Moonbeam Watermelon, and Black Pearl Pepper containers. I opened a few for the first time. The dill is all over the place, but the coolest ones I opened today were the rhubarb jugs. I planted one with Victoria rhubarb collected from the old house, and the other with mystery rhubarb seeds collected from a friend (Matt's) new house. Today I compared the two, side-by-side. It is clear that the ones from Matt's house are not Victoria.
In the photo below, Matt's rhubarb is on the left. It has mostly green stems, and isn't as tall as the other plants. The Victoria rhubarb is on the right. The stems are all bright red, and the plants are slightly taller than the plants in Matt's jug.
Today the duck eggs remained largely the same as they were yesterday. I made a comment in one of the online groups about their lack of progress, and a much more experienced duck-raiser gave me some pointers and tips. It's been 24 hours since the second egg pipped, but it hasn't cracked open yet - so I went ahead and carefully peeled back a very small space around where it pipped to make sure it had an air hole. The first egg, which had pipped before and had been in the same condition for at least a full day (pipped, had an air hole, made noise, could see it breathing - but wasn't making any progress), I went ahead and broke off more of the shell, and very carefully peeled back some of the membrane, making sure to stop if I came across any blood or veins.
Please note here - I do this with extreme caution. I do not suggest tampering with eggs unless absolutely needed. You can do a lot of harm, even kill your new babies if you make a mistake. These babies are now three days over-due, clearly alive in the shells, but have been making no progress for over 24 hours. I will be adding two more duck eggs to the hatching incubator tomorrow (they are set to hatch on the 25th), I had figured these two would be hatched and in the brooder by now. In 99.9% of cases I would say "leave it to nature" because "nature has been doing this a lot longer than we have." I feel so out of place that all three of our duck eggs so far have had issues with hatching. I'm really hoping the remaining eggs are self-sufficient. I don't want to have to be peeling babies out of egg shells every time.