Sunday, May 29, 2011

Morning Dose of Cuteness

I always count on one doe in the herd to bring her fawn up early.
I believe that particular doe lost her fawn to a late cold front that was accompanied by rain on the night after it was born.
So far, out of all the fawns born, this is the only one I've seen up close.
By up close, I mean through the bathroom window.
This momma is very skittish and protective.
I tried getting outdoor photos, but she kept telling the fawn to run off, every time she heard the camera click.

By my count, we have 3-5 fawns in the local herd.
I know there is a set of twins.
They were born on the same rainy night as the one I previously mentioned. Somehow, they survived when the single one did not.
It's still early for the fawns to be traveling with the does.
That's why I was shameless and tossed out some corn when I saw this doe and her baby nearby.
Anything for a picture!

In the next couple weeks, the fawns will begin to travel everywhere with the does. Until then, the moms still get to graze and sleep and wander without having to look after a baby every single minute of the day.
For now, the babies have to stay where mom puts them and wait patiently for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday 2

Somehow, I've managed not to post anything in a week.
It was a very busy weekend and this week has managed to fly by.

This week, I am thankful for a healthy body.
Actually, I'm thankful each and every day that I can put two feet on the floor and get out of bed.
Lately, I've been working outdoors.
Gardening, weed pulling, plant moving, putting down mulch, etc.
I've been twisting, turning and bending in ways I don't normally do.
What that means is, everything aches.
It's not a 'weekend warrior' sort of thing anymore.
Every single time I do anything out of the ordinary, my body fusses at me.
It tries to convince me that I'm too old to be doing such things.
I disagree.
I believe in the old adage--Use it or lose it.

That said, I am thankful for a healthy body that can twist and turn and bend.
I am also thankful that it tells me when 'enough is enough'.
Lastly, I am thankful for Advil.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday

There's "Silent Sunday" and "Wordless Wednesday" in blogger land.
I'm starting a new one.

Thankful Thursday.

It will be a day to blog about something you are thankful for. It doesn't have to be something profound. My hope is that you'll look into your life and be thankful for the small things as well as the obvious things.
I sometimes forget to be thankful.

Mandalay Sleigh Bed, Full, Espresso stain

This week I am thankful for a lovely, soft bed and pillow.

No, this isn't my bed (Pottery Barn), but it could be. I have a king size, pillow top mattress, box springs and a feather pillow. I have a padded mattress cover and a good looking set of bedding--complete with dog hair from our much loved dog. I sleep indoors, in a temperature controlled, bug-free room.
It's something that I take for granted. Not only are there millions of people on our planet that don't have such luxury, there are probably people right here in my little town.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bird's Nest Revisited

I gently check the nest for hatching, every couple days.
I forgot over the weekend.
Looks like I missed the big day.

The two chicks are at least 2 days old, as they have some downy feathers. I'm guessing the third egg will not be hatching. At some point, the momma mockingbird will kick the egg out of the nest.

That bit of stuff next to them that looks like snake skin, is actually the webbing that covers those expandable soil wafers things that come in seed starting kits.
I have seen birds nests with quite the collection of snake skin, though.

We actually got about an inch of rain a few days ago (first since October, I'm not kidding). I was worried that this little nest would be no more, as it happens to be right in the place in a bush where the water funs off the roof. I'm guessing momma bird sat tight and took the brunt of the water rushing down on her.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anatomy of a Bird's Nest


If you'd like to see this picture a little better, double click on the picture and it should enlarge.

I sometimes wonder if all people see things in nature the same way I do.
Lee says I'm more observant than the average Jane.
Yesterday, after showing this nest to a friend of Tom's, he asked me
"How'd you know that nest was there?"

It seems obvious to me, to take a look, when a mockingbird jumps out of the same bush every time I open the front door.
He said he would never have noticed the bird.

I think the 'observation' gene was passed down to me from my father.
We spent many long hours hunting for ducks, geese, quail, doves and pheasants.
I was trained to keep my eyes open for certain signs in each bird's habitat.
I was trained to watch the dogs for certain body language that indicated we were on the right trail.
I was even trained to look up.
Something that many folks don't do while in the outdoors, lest we trip over something and fall.

My father and I also hunted morel mushrooms in the spring.
I was taught to keep my eyes open for downed oak trees, blooming redbuds and blooming may apples. (Penny, don't eat them, they're poisonous!)
The downed oak trees often had morels nearby and the blooming plants were markers that it was warm enough for morels to come up.

Our bird hunts and morel hunts always led to discoveries of all sorts of other things---lessons about weather, water, plants, animals, birds, insects, fish, soil and even rocks.

The greatest lesson of all was to respect nature.
It is a gift that we must treasure and never take for granted.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dreaming of BLTs

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Duck Tales

photo shy ducks, taken by Pearl

"Mom! There are ducks in the yard!"
"What? No way!"
"No, really! There are three ducks behind the pool!"

Mad rushing around looking for cameras.
"Sssshhhh! Be sure the dogs and the cat don't get out."
"Look! They want in the pool! Ooohhhhh, only one got in the pool area and now it can't get out!"

They are obviously domestic ducks, although I can't figure out which breed. I know they must have flown over the house, seen the pool and decided our place looked good. Problem (for them, not us) was that they landed on the ground, outside our fenced in pool.
After much following/herding on our part (they never tried to fly away), they ended up over by our chicken run. We were able to offer them a large tub to drink from and swim in. They seemed very relieved to be getting a drink.

I was worried that nighttime predators would get them, so Tom and I herded them into the chicken run after the chickens had been locked up in their coop. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I decided they needed to sleep in a dog crate in the garage.
Trouble is, ducks can fly---even when it's nearly dark (duh!). One got away and the others were very worried that they were now all separated. I threw up my hands and let the remaining two out into the dark. What will be, will be.

Still can't leave well enough alone. I felt bad that the ducks were separated in the dark. I went in search of the lone flyer while the other two waddled off in the opposite direction. I couldn't find a single black duck in the dark, so I gave up and went in through the garage. What will be, will be.

Hit the garage door opener to close up the garage, and lone black duck shoots out from under my car. After 5 minutes of chasing him under and around my car, I captured him.
Well geez, now I've got to reunite him with his buddies. But how do I find a black duck and buff duck in the dark? With lone, black duck in my arms, I head out---hoping his quacking will help lure his buddies out of hiding.

I found them, but only with the help of my neighbor's horse.
Yes, a horse.
I could hear him pounding away in his pasture--in the dark!
I knew instantly that he'd seen/heard something scary. I was terrified he'd hurt himself. Last I heard, horses can't see in the dark any better than ducks or people.
Luckily for all of us, the buff colored duck was just light enough that I could make him out in the dark.

I herded him and his buddy back to my land. Reunited lone, black duck with his two buddies and gave up. Really, I did. What will be, will be.

Morning came and I figured they'd have been eaten or would be gone.
There they were, right behind the pool, exactly where we'd first spotted them.

As cute as they are, we have no place to keep ducks and keep them safe. We certainly don't have a water source and have no intention of having duck poo in the pool.
For all of the shenanigans of the night before, I kicked it into high gear and captured all three ducks in 10 minutes. I still had potluck food to fix and a shower to take before church.

The ducks are now enjoying an amazing pond, just three miles from the house. Plenty of food, proper shelter and no unnatural predators like cats and dogs.
I got my potluck food made and my shower, but missed Sunday School.
Small price to pay for happy ducks.
All's well that ends well.