Caged!

 

Ducklings, goslings and children all move.

A lot.

But, if you build a 20 duckling, 2 gosling, 3 kid cage, you can photograph them all at the same time!

ducklings, goslings and kids

Remarkably even when you stick these 25 creatures in one small cage, you still get a very good sense of all their individual personalities.

Ivy, is seriously working on socializing the ducklings, she is busy, and can not smile for the camera.

Clara is willing to grin for the camera but will not stop doing what she had been doing, in this case plucking bits of greenery from the floor of the cage to hand feed to the birds.

Jane, of course, abandons all pretense that she was ever doing anything else to make silly faces at the camera.

Meanwhile, the ducklings, observed only by Ivy, are in a slight panic. But only a slight panic, because there is also water in their midst and, as all ducklings know, all water needs to be thrown on the ground immediately.

The goslings are boldly investigating. We are new to geese, but so far bold investigation seems to be their thing!

And, at the rate all 25 of them are growing, this is likely to be the only picture I ever get of them all together.

Advertisements

Happy Animals

I like to keep my animals happy.

I let my chickens range free, I open their mobile coop door in the morning so they may roam about all day and I lock them up at night to keep them safe. Except when I introduce new young chickens to the daily routine. Then I open the coop door every morning and crawl under the chicken coop catching and counting chickens every night. Those silly young birds take awhile to figure out that even if you can see your friends above you, there is no getting through the wire floor, you just have to use the door. Eventually they will figure it out. young AmericanaUntil then I figure that when I find myself under the chicken coop on one knee other leg extended for balance, one elbow on the ground because that hand is already holding a chicken stretching as far as I can for a second bird, well, that’s just an excellent ab hold.DSCN2973-(sm)

These chicken induced exercises will be slightly amusing to me for about a week and then I will be second guessing my “let’s have happy chickens” philosophy.

I also try to keep my dog happy. He’s my dog, I love him. So I let him out to run around outside with me whenever I’m out. The other day he scrummaged around in the woods for ten minutes while I watered plants. Ten minutes and he came back, muddy, wet, tired, hot, limping on a hind leg and smelling like he rolled in something much deader than than the freshly caught chipmunk he proudly gave me. happy Trip dogBut happy? Oh was he happy!Happy Trip dog

Me, I was second guessing my “let’s have happy dogs” philosophy.

I just got a pile of little ducklings and a pair of goslings. And so, because it’s been so nice out, I made them a little wire pen they can be outside in during the day in the front yard. I put the goslings in and they munched on leaves and grass and looked oh so happy. I put the ducklings in and they nibbled and explored, chased bugs and happily popped right out through the  holes in the wire. I then spent the next two hours babysitting my new babies and herding the occasional duck back in the pen while trying to think what else I had around that I could patch the holes up with. DSCN3067-(2sm)The shade was a perfect temperature with just a hint of a breeze, the grass was nice and soft and the little birds were endlessly entertaining.Ancona duckling

I’m pretty sure “lets have happy ducklings and goslings” is my favorite philosophy!

 

And Then There Were Six

Ancona ducks in the snowThere are risks to letting the birds free-range during the day.duck feather in the snow

Two ducks disappeared.duck feather in the snow

Nothing was left of them but a few feathers in the falling snow.duck feathers in the snow

There are risks.drake ancona in the snow

But I like to think it’s about the quality of life.Ancona ducks in the snow

Between the legions of furry, sharped-toothed animals and the freezer, many of our ducks won’t live long. But they’ll all live well.

Ancona ducks in the snow

And that makes all the difference.

For those of you who have been wondering, the ducks do fine in the winter. They always can go in and out of their house and on very cold sunny days they usually sit inside soaking up the rays coming through the windows. But, as you can see, even when it’s snowing, they’d rather be outside. 

Winter is Coming

They say winter is coming.

The area is full of winter storm warnings, dire predictions and people shivering at the mere thought of snowy weather arriving.

duck sleeping in leaf pile

Napping in the autumn sun.

But not me.

I’ll welcome the true winter weather when it comes.

Unfortunately, I suspect we are heading into nothing more than the transition period. The time of cloudy days and freezing temperatures with no snow but plenty of frozen puddles and icy mud patches that precedes real winter. duck in leaf pileI hope I’m wrong. Maybe winter will show up for good tonight.

We’ve been spoiled by a long fall of gorgeous weather but it’s about time for a little cold. It may come with beautiful snowfalls and freezing temperatures or it may be a month of slush, but I’ve got my warm fire and a pile of books to read.

I’m ready!

Update: It’s snowing!!! It may all melt tomorrow but first snow is always magic!