RELEASE THE QUACKEN!

You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use this title!

Here’s what went down yesterday. Every morning about about 6:00 I check on the ducks and open the coop so they can forage in the yard and play in their pool. I did this yesterday and they were fine. I went upstairs to finish my coffee and chill.  Later Jim and I got ready to escort them to the lake again, but as we were getting them out of the yard we realized two of them were missing.

The female wood duck and “Blackie” the Mallard/American Black Duck hybrid were gone. Oh well. What could we do?  We walked the remaining three ducks to the lake and stuck around for a while to see if the other two would see them and join them. Nothing happened for about 30 minutes, so we started to walk back home. Lo & behold, just as we were heading back up the street, Blackie swoops over our heads, flying toward the lake like a professional stunt duck.

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Somehow Jim managed to capture her in flight.

She landed with a thud and a double somersault in the grass, unhurt but embarrassed. (we didn’t laugh too much) She dusted herself off and waddled over to her buddies. We were sad that one of the wood ducks remained missing but we walked home and the ducks remained near, (but not in) the water.

I spent the rest of the morning a little proud that we had mostly completed our mission, but a little sad that one of our little wood ducks was gone. I decided to take some food to them in case they were missing their regular breakfast of duck chow. I saw the four of them by the waters edge. They were trying to get close to the beautiful white heron (or egret, not quite sure what he is).

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Are you a movie star? Can I have your autograph?

The egret waded into the lake AND MY DUCKS FOLLOWED HIM!!! In no time they were swimming and snacking on pond weeds and having a jolly time!

Three other Waters ducks swam up and introduced themselves. My heart was happy. I turned to walk back home and what to I see on the far side of the lake?!?!?

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I’m lost. Can you help me find my family?

I sure can girlfriend! I herded her toward the others and since I was by myself it took a long time. But eventually…

I cried happy tears. These guys drove me nuts for two months and I couldn’t WAIT to get rid of them, but I have to admit I was a bit sad to see them on their own. I’m really glad I did this, but I won’t ever do it again. I found out about one month into my duck experience that I was in violation of all kinds of Alabama wildlife regulations. I could have faced a huge fine and even jail time if someone had turned me in. Next spring, when you find a lone baby duck, please just put it in the water as close to other ducks as possible and just say a prayer for his safety. The duck lady has retired. Jim would be pretty mad if I went to jail. Who would clean the litter box?

Thanks to all who kept up with this craziness. It was joy to write about such funny creatures. BTW, I check on them this morning and brought them some food. All five were splashing away happily. They ignored the food and me. 😦

Life is good.

Go On Now, GIT!

So the ducks are occasionally flying out of my yard and wandering the streets trying to figure out how to get back in.  By the time we find the escapee, he’s frantic and his siblings are too. But wait…Don’t I WANT them to fly away? Yes, but not one at a time. They need to get to the lake as a family and figure out how to be regular ducks together. So yesterday we hatched a plan to make this happen.

At about 6:00 am, Jim and I started slowly herding the little quackers out of the yard and into the street toward the lake.

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We live less than 100 yards from the waters edge, and we weren’t sure how hard it would be to get them there.

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So far so good. Jumped the stone wall and on to Martha & Irl’s driveway. (sorry about the poop guys, I’ll hose it off later)

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They did not observe the stop sign.

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Nor did they look both ways.

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They admired the view and had a conference in duck language.

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I’m not gettin in! Are you gettin in? No way Jose! It looks kinda scary!

We stayed with them for about 45 minutes trying to herd them in to the water with no luck. Finally they turned the opposite direction and…

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Across the street toward Irl’s driveway…

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Up the sidewalk…

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Hop up on the wall…

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Back to the back yard and their pink plastic baby pool.

Sigh.

Random Acts of Photography

Some days I don’t really have a theme for a blog post but I just want to share some snippets of our FABULOUS life (mostly animal stuff).

Tony scales our privacy fence like a sherpa! We’ve seen him leap to the top many times and almost can’t believe our eyes.

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You NEED me on this wall!

He does this when he’s not stalking ducks.

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I just wanna TASTE one.

Never fear. He’s actually afraid of them. Alpha duck chased him out of the yard yesterday. Don’t tell anyone. Tony doesn’t want to lose his street cred.

And speaking of ducks…

These crazy critters are practicing flight. I’ve seen two of them get about three feet of air and travel 6-7 feet across the yard. I’m never able to catch them on video, but here’s a cute one showing mayhem.

Rowdy and Sammy wanted in on this post, so here’s a photo of my enormous lady cats with boys’ names (the shelter named them when they were babies and got all the sexes wrong)

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We so pwetty.

We’re still enjoying our pretty water feature/memorial garden.

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I recently met up with some dear friends I hadn’t seen in a long time

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Pretty as Peacocks.

And finally, can anyone tell me why only ONE of the crape myrtles is blooming at the Pink House?

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I’m clueless.

I found out that the three ducks that came from Mobile are NOT mallards. They are WOOD DUCKS. They’re smaller and they’ll look like this when they’re mature.

Male wood duck

Male

Female wood duck

female

There are currently no wood ducks at The Waters, but they are native to this region, so they should do fine here. For two days in a row a duck has flown out of my yard and waddled in the street until we could herd him back in. Tune in tomorrow to see what happened when we tried to “escort” the gang to the lake.

PS…Bella the bunny is fat and happy. I’ll get a cute pic of her tomorrow.

 

 

Monkey Boy

Jim got this nickname when he was on a military assignment in Korea. It happened in a bar after an encounter with too much soju. The details shall remain undisclosed, but I called him “monkey boy” for an entirely different reason while he was building the garden/water feature.

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agility

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balance

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flexibility

Would Jim appreciate me putting these butt views on my blog for all to see? Or the great fashion statement he’s making with the CROCS & socks?!?! No, he would not! So don’t tell him. He doesn’t read the kittybunnychicken, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. If this guy kicks the bucket, I’m going to have to hire a gymnast to maintain this garden. I actually tried to pull some weeds yesterday and nearly fell headfirst into the pond. Come to think of it, if Jim does leave me on this Earth alone, I’m going to have to hire a team of cooks, scientists, laborers and mechanics to maintain my lifestyle. I really should be nicer to that boy.

Speaking of the garden…we added some solar lights and candles for night time enjoyment.

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They come on around 8:00 so stop by for a gander if you’re out walking the hood.

Tony loves to drink from the from the garden and pretend he’s a dangerous mountain lion patrolling his territory.

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Yes Tony, you look really fierce dude!

Rowdy, on the other hand, likes to pretend she’s a beautiful kitty queen statue.

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Kitty Queen! Bow before me peasants!

When she’s not playing in her toilet paper fort!

Don’t see me!

How are the ducks you ask? Huge, disgusting and a giant pain in the a**! But here’s a cute video of their daily pool party.

I am so ready for these guys to fly away! They’re destroying our sod and making my back yard smell like a zoo. Sorry Martha & Irl. Just a few more weeks I promise!