Saturday, July 20, 2013

The heat, the hound, the deer, the ducks

Why did we ever let them talk us out of air conditioning? This past week has been unusually hot and humid—typical for south Jersey, but not in upstate NY.

Woody, Virginia hound boy that he is, seems to enjoy spending the hottest of days out on the back porch in the sun. When he gets too hot, he digs himself a nice big hole in the dirt and takes a nap. After a few hours out there, it's difficult to get him to come in, even when I have to go to work.

He is getting much better about not barking at every critter he sees outside. He is really good with the ducks and chickens, but the bajillion groundhogs, rabbits and deer we have here still excite that hound boy howl. His deer friend spends almost every morning just outside the windows in the living room. All the barking and howling he can muster at 4:30 am will not get a reaction from her. Turns out she is a recent momma, and maybe that's why she won't leave. The first fawn I saw was so tiny it kept tripping through the weeds trying to keep up with her. A few weeks later we saw 3 fawns out there romping around, but we're not sure if they're all related.

The ducks also do not seem to mind the heat. As long as they have a big bucket of water to play in, they are happy. They still haven't found their way down to the creek, but the creek is still running wild from all the rain so maybe that's a good thing. They stay close to home, and close together.

We thought we bought Cayuga ducks, a really pretty black and beetle green combination, but I am beginning to think that they are going to stay mostly brown, possibly more like a mallard than Cayuga. You can see in the photos that some of them are losing their adolescent feathers and their heads are turning green. These appear to be the males. The females have a different kind of brown feathering that doesn't seem to be changing much at all.

All guessing at this point to know what color they will be. No matter how they turn out, I think they are beautiful, and fun to watch!

Today the weather is improving. Turns out we don't really need that AC after all.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lots of activity, none of it good!

Poor Roo was attacked by something a few weeks ago. When The Husband found him, he was barely breathing. He has been in and out of "Chicken Hospital" (the garage) ever since. He looked pretty good a few days after, but then went back to standing with his head hanging down, or lying face down on the ground. The vet said that it could take a few months before he gets back to normal.

All three of the chickens in the top photo have been attacked by the Jack Russell across the street. Possibly he is the culprit again, or maybe the eagles nesting across the street, or the hawks, or the foxes... This was a few days after the Roo attack, and you can see he still has some blood on his neck. Red Meanie, top right, has a little humpback instead of a proper tail after her battle about a year ago.

Thursday, June 27, we had some serious rain. We woke up to a totally flooded back 40 and an inch of water in the basement as well! Our favorite builder promised us our basement would never leak, but I guess he couldn't predict the 10" of rain we had in June—about 3" of that was on Thursday night.

The bad news is that there were lots of cardboard boxes on the basement floor—all the stuff that we never unpacked after the move. The good news is that most of it was not valuable, and this has forced me to sort through and get rid of a lot.

The other good news is that it is so hot and humid outside, that it is actually pleasant to be working in the cool muddy basement.

The water is gone, but it will take a long time to clean out all the mud, especially because our wet vac is still in NJ, and my mop handle is broken.

And, speaking of NJ, we had a "water in the basement" issue there about 2 weeks ago. Good thing I left the wet vac there for the renters...