Sunday, September 25, 2011

Backyard Doings

Changes in the backyard continue as ducks and goats move out of babyhood. The ducks are, indeed, Welsh Harlequins despite earlier fears. They’re beautiful birds. The most amazing thing about them is the small band of dark feathers on the end of their wings. This strip looks black in the shade, but in light, turns from bright teal to cobalt to vivid purple depending on the angle of viewing.

You can sort of get a sense of it here, although without the stunning iridescent depth of the colors:



They each look distinctive, as well, so our earlier concern about not being able to tell them apart was unfounded.


Jemima Dorothy:



Nancy Drew:






And Ethel:


Quite relieved that I received the right ducks, as is, I’m sure, Mrs. H from Winnemucca ;-).


In goat news, mounting frustration. Weaning is not going well. Actually, weaning from the bottle is going fine – the girls are eating hay and drinking their water just fine. They’ve started to like their alfalfa pellets more, as well. I have no concern about their nutrition coming off bottles. What is NOT going well is weaning them from our continual presence. It is, as I post, day 4 of our not having a person continually in the back yard. Before that time, we’d tried moving the lawn chair farther and farther away, disappearing for awhile, etc. But it never did work. They’d bleat increasingly loudly for our company, and we were unwilling to irritate the neighbors. But winter is coming, and this just isn’t sustainable with home school and illnesses that always come with the winter.

They have screamed for four days now. They do stop sometimes for a little while. We try to catch them being good and go out for a little while a few times a day when they’re quiet. But it’s not getting better. Not quite sure what the next move is here. We stay outside in the morning until 9 on weekdays and 10 on weekends. One night Selkie screamed herself hoarse; what a strange, strange sound that was.

028You’re not planning on leaving again, are you?”

selkie scoldsHate to have to threaten you, but you haven’t heard my best scream yet . . . “


There were really strong winds last night, and one bed of tomatoes had the twine supports snap. Not a huge surprise, as there are some ginormous tomatoes hanging off that twine. About six of these:


I have to share with you the funniest line from the blogger Simcha Fisher at the blog, “I Have to Sit Down”! Referring to her backyard, she said, “On the other hand, the last thing I want is more stuff cluttering up the yard.  Our property already looks like it’s waiting for FEMA  to come and assess the damage.” Bwa ha ha ha – perfect phrase. We’ve got a couple of areas in the back that fit that one precisely:


I do intend to remove the spent strawberry growing thingies . . . and no, that plastic is no longer covering anything . . . and how the boots got in the strawberry holders is a mystery . . . and I did ask for the Little Tike toy to be taken out of the goat area. Sigh.

Several areas of the yard look like we allowed the children to get in a pillow fight, although obviously it’s just the ducks getting bigger:



What the Patriarch intends with these are a mystery, but the ducks will spend hours happily trying to open them up to eat the bugs hatching inside (or just sit on top, sunning themselves):


Just to note: those aren’t bags of actual trash – we’ve not quite gotten that bad yet – but the used bedding from the screened porch. We’re still working on a “waste management program”. So Simcha Fisher, just send that confused FEMA appraiser over when you’re done with him.

We do still have some nice things happening in the back. Still getting tomatoes and zucchini and beans for now, although every night and day gets cooler:


Well, that’s it for the backyard. Inside most of us have some bug and are sitting around nauseated, aching, with sore throats. So the back yard, with all of its challenges, is the place to be at Shady Fifth this week.

033 If you dare (insert spooky goat scream) . . .

1 comment:

Hoveland Family said...

Hope you all feel better soon.

The goat girls WILL get over their separation anxiety. Ours did the same thing.....

PS.. send the FEMA man our way when you are done with him! lol ;)