A day after Easter, Pearson saw four baby ducklings and the mother duck splashing around in her backyard pool. She heard more on the other side of the fence, and went over to gather the rest of the palm-sized ducks. Pearson now has 13 ducklings plus their mother.
Pearson, an embroiderer by trade, did not know what to do with her new pets. She called animal control and a local veterinarian, but they were unable to help her much.
"Everyone pretty much said that they're ours until they grow their feathers and fly away," Pearson said. "We've just been taking care of them, and they've been great."
The major tradeoff to having the baby ducklings in the back yard is that the Pearsons can no longer take a dip in their pool. The ducklings have made it into their own little pond. She stopped cleaning it because the necessary chemicals to keep the pool sparkling clean would harm the ducks. Also, the oil from their bodies has destroyed the pool filter, letting the water turn a murky green.
Her children did not mind the lack of a pool at first, but are starting to change their mind as summer approaches.
"It wasn't a problem up until last week," said Pearson. "Now with the weather change, they're wondering when the ducks are going to be gone."
Pearson has also had to take on the added cost of feeding and cleaning the ducks. She has gone through 50 pounds of duck feed since they came to the back yard and has had to clean up after them on a daily basis. Her other pets, a cat and a dog, have also been unable to use the back yard.
"I'm out there cleaning the pool down at least four times a day," Pearson said. "My dog can't go in the back yard anymore, my cat can't go outside. But they're wonderful entertainment, at the same time. We can sit out there for hours, just watching them."
Despite the hardship the ducklings have caused, Pearson loves having them around. She has enjoyed watching their growth from pint-sized to now nearly full-grown fowl. Pearson feels that the ducklings have had a calming and relaxing effect on her and the rest of her family.
The creatures have also garnered extra attention from the community. Local day care centers have brought their children to Pearson's back yard to see and play with the ducklings. Neighbors and other children from around the area have also come to Pearson's house to see the newest addition to the family.
Friends have told her that she could probably take them out to Marsh Creek and let them on their own right now, but she wants to let the ducks grow and leave in their own time.
"I'm not willing to take them away from their mommy. She's a really good mom," Pearson said.
Although the ducklings have provided an enlightening experience for Pearson, she knows that the time will come when they'll fly away. She and her family will be sad, but thankful for the peace the ducks have brought to their lives.