Thursday, May 31, 2012

No, You Can't....

look at my feet!

Hank had something in his foot and all the aunties and uncles on the hiking trail were trying to help him...which he does not like! After being asked one too many times, "Hank, let me see your foot,"  he firmly planted his bottom in the river!

Hank's other favorite phrase??? "Let me see your ears!"

Kudos to the Rottrover for the most excellent photo!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nickname Confusion

 One day when the duck babies were just a few days old, I realized I was missing one! I searched and searched and prepared myself to find a dead duck. Suddenly I heard pecking underneath the pool cover. It seems one of them had gone under exploring and couldn't get out! I quickly lifted it and out he swam!

Only I made the cover worse...with more folds where little ducks could swim! As I struggled to straighten it, Mallory got SO mad at me! She started dive bombing me to make me stop!

Well, I'm the Alpha in this house (or I try to be!) I kept at it and Mallory kept diving at me and flapping and squawking! So I yelled at her:

"Allright! That's quite enough Miss Piss!  You're a bad momma for letting him get trapped under there!  I'm just trying to HELP YOU!  KNOCK IT OFF MISS PISS!"

I gave up and left the cover but I was very shocked to see Mabel, who had been curled up on the porch:
She was standing on the edge of the porch with a rather sheepish look on her face. I realized that Miss Piss is my nickname for her when she's being ornery and fussy! Poor baby thought I was mad at HER!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fishing Lessons

The day after giving the duck babies diving lessons in the jacuzzi, Mallory (Mama Duck) started showing them how to dive in the much deep pool. So the hiking buddy brought over a bag of goldfish and minnows! We tossed a few fish on the pool liner and dumped the rest in the pool. The presence of the fish caused much excitement in the pool. I could be inside the house and suddenly hear them all zooming about!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lunch With the Ducks

We interrupt this duck blog to bring you the newest pictures of the duck family.

Since I still have the majority of my 25 pounds of duck mash and placing 13 ducks in small pond is a strain on their ecosystem, I've decided to visit them every few days with lunch. I know their mid-day schedule pretty well and sure enough, I found them sunning on a boulder.

I called to Mallory and startled them at first. They took off swimming.

I walked along the brush  calling to Mallory and she started swimming toward me, babies some distance behind.

Mallory came ashore first. She was SO hungry and actually made cooing noises as she ate. For those of you who know me in real life... these are the "puppy baby noises" that Twinkie makes for me! 

Soon enough, all the babies were headed to the shore.

Mallory always stays between me and the babies and I'm so proud of what a good mother she is!

I was so happy that all dozen ducklings are thriving. 

And me??? I had lunch too! The mulberries are in season. I ate so many handfuls, I feared I would be sick!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Diving Lessons

Living with the ducks for ten days this year, I got to see a bit more of the training that their mom  gives them to survive in the world. When they were about a week old, she took them all in the jacuzzi for a diving lesson.

This was the first time I saw the babies go underwater and zoom quickly both under and on top of the surface!

Mallory would work with a few of them at a time as they seemed to pass muster, they were allowed to get out of the jacuzzi and go sun themselves as their siblings continued the lesson.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Missing Mallory Mallard

It's taking me some time to adjust... as nasty and loud as my duck puddle was, I do miss them and their bad to the bone mom Mallory. I haven't caught sight of them at the creek in days... Isn't she a beauty???

Duckpdate: After I wrote this post yesterday, I went to the creek and found the ducklings! ALL OF THEM! They have grown. I walked through the trees and brush to get closer and called Mallory and she came! I was so happy I brought some duck mash with me! And so was the puddle! We had a lovely visit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Duckpdate: The Ducks New Home

It was long, but short 11 days but the ducks have moved to the creek. These are the shots of their first moments checking it out.

Mabel was such a good big duck sister.  There is much I haven't written about... but I'm certain the one time Mabel took off for the ducks, that Mallory and the crusty fussy little ones put her in her proper place! I was torching... it was NOT duck dinner time... and Mabel was sunbaking in the side yard. While in the middle of a huge bead, Mabel alerted and took off for the ducks! I was screaming and the ducks were squawking and Mabel was growling! By the time I tossed that big bead in the kiln and killed the flame that I was certain baby ducks (that can't fly) would fly into, it was over!

I did a quick head count... all ducks present and fine and went to find the rottweiler. She was hiding in the darkest room of the house! Since we were having a heat wave, I decided to stay indoors and work on websites and just let the babies have the yard. I spent the last week going outside to alert Mallory and the puddle to our presence before allowing Mabel outside. Mabel's morning sunbakes were done in my presence although I quickly realized that Mabel now totally respected the bad-arse duck that was now ruler of the backyard. All of her meals were served indoors.

Still, their last night here, at precisely 4:19 a.m., something disturbed the puddle and there was much hissing from Mallory and the babies were all squawking. After a quick head count, I returned to bed. At first light, I let Mabel out and just watched.

She stepped off the end of the patio, acknowledged Mallory sitting on her babies with wings surrounding them. Mabel walked straight to the side fence, turned right toward the back, strolled until she was parallel with Mallory. She peed with her eyes on the ducklings and then... went into critter mode... racing to the back deck to see what had caused a disturbance in the puddle. I felt that Mabel was protecting the ducks.

I also made sure that all friends that stopped by made a big to do over Mabel. I think this helped things go as well as they did.

I've learned that ducks can live a long time... I can't say that I'm looking forward to next year. But, I know we did our part to help the local duck population along. The ducklings are big and healthy and fighters like their mom!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scratch My Butt PLEASE!

Is that the face of complete ecstasy or what???
My pool man hiking buddy stopped by yesterday to check on the damage the ducks have done to the pool this year. He is one of Miss Mabel's favorite people in the world! Mainly because she can demand a good butt scritch on the spot. He always complies...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Duck Idioms

Living with so many ducks, several idioms have become clear as day to me; and some, clear as mud! I thought I could use some photos to clarify.

Duck Walk:

Like Ducks to Water:

Like Water off a Ducks Back:

Ducks in a Row:

Sitting Duck:

Lucky Ducks:

The Odd Duck (There is ALWAYS one!):

Duck Blind:

With apologies to geese: Silly Ducks

With apologies to my pool man: Duck Soup

With apologies to dogs and rock bands: 13 Duck Night:

With apologies to my Democratic friends and for being all political on a duck blog (especially on a day the Prez did such a wonderful thing!) but I obviously didn't have a photo of my own to fit: 
Lame Duck:

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Everyday Necessity

No day is ever complete without a cuddle on the sofa with Mom...

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ducky Goodness

The hiking buddy and I were duck watching the other day when we noticed ^^^ this guy... He would get so tired but so afraid he was going to miss out on what the others were doing that his little head would fall over and hit the ground! Which would then awake him with a start!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Aliens Among Us

I've often heard it said that the aliens live among us in close proximity so as to observe our behavior closely. In order to do this, they inhabit the bodies of our dogs. And now... I have proof!  Look at this photo of a newly shaven Bart:

See the alien face???

Who knew I had an alien from outer space observing me on my hikes? And living with my bestie???  My goodness! He's watched her play piano, sleep, garden and now knows the secrets of running a successful golf business!

As further proof of the existence of aliens among us, check out this picture:

It's clear the alien is not afraid of water or even need to hold his breath!

I have decided I am not afraid of the alien and I know I need to be more patient with Bart. While some may say aliens are of superior intelligence, our little alien clearly needs some help with the language barrier!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Twinkie's Allright

It's always a bit alarming with some of our friends from blogville just disappear off the map! So I decided to phone one Miss Twinkie Van Twinkerson up to see what's been keeping her so darn busy!  To my great surprise, she had a few hours free and suggested we get together for a cup of cream.

It was just wonderful to see her in the furs! After she and Mabel Lou devoured a cup of cream, we settled in for a good chat.

Miss Twink is super fine and looking good! Her mom is really busy with a new career and it's Miss Twinkie's job to snoopervise the busy schedules of the menagerie of animals in the house! It's very time consuming being a small chi chi with two Great Danes to look after + three other pups, countless kittens and reptiles, etc. Miss Twinkies assured me that while she is oh so busy, that life is full and good!

And with that, Miss Twink curled up on my bosom and took a nap! She immediately awoke when she heard her mom and I discussing the imminent arrival of my ducks!

You may remember, that Twinkie oversaw their care until they were large enough to transfer to the creek last year.   She was most relieved that we plan to transfer them straight to the creek this year!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Breaking News

Breaking news -er....make that cracking news! The ducks are here!! Yes, folks, it's time for a Duckpdate!

I was struggling with bead photos yesterday when I decided to take some pics on the porch. And look what I found in the pool!

Yep...despite my best efforts to discourage her, Mallory has a dozen duck chicks in my backyard. Morning after morning, I would dash into the backyard, red hair flying, hands clapping, yelling at Mallory and Drake, "THIS IS NOT A MATERNITY WARD!!!"

They would fly away, only to return. The morning I saw Drake and no Mall, I knew he was making a food drop. From that point on, I would only occasionally see her off the nest. And for the last two weeks, I swear she did not move! I put food out for her - pecking distance from the nest but she never touched it.

Once the babies were here, I tossed some food on top of the pool cover and she gobbled and gobbled it up! She broke up the bigger bits for the babies and they ate and ate too! I feel like a heel for not feeding them last year!

By afternoon, I knew I had to get the duck elevators in place. If you remember from last year, it's not the chlorine that kills but the fact that they can't get out of the pool!  They bedded down on one of them for the night. I fretted that it was too cold and finally realized, she needs the babies that close to the water as that is their best way to protect the team!

At 6 a.m. they took their first swim of the morning.  I think I'm in love...